"In 1999, Mark Spencer needed a phone system for his startup,
Linux Support Services. The company's aim was to provide technical
support to businesses and programmers for Linux, an operating
system for which the source code is free, making it an appealing
alternative to Microsoft's (MSFT) Windows. But, Spencer was still a
student at Auburn University and he had raised a mere $4,000 in
startup capital. 'I thought I really needed to get a phone system,
but they were simply too expensive,' he says.
"So he did what any programmer wise in the ways of open-source
software would do: He created his own. Using a combination of Linux
and C programming, he created an open-source telephone switch
called Asterisk, and then made the software available for free to
others who wanted to use it..."
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