The corporate face of open source

Last week I met up with Alan Cox, who spent many years maintaining the Linux kernel, and now works at Red Hat. I interviewed him for a podcast. Cox is clearly a very smart techie, who knows a thing or two about developing and optimising the Linux kernel. But he’s also business savvy, has briefed members of parliament on Internet security and identity issues and recently completed an MBA at Swansea University.

It’s no longer accurate to describe Linux and open source software as “just for techies”. IBM, Novell and Red Hat have made open source software enterprise-friendly. Open source has evolved. Microsoft must acknowledge this and provide greater interoperability, rather than sending out mixed messages about “getting the facts“. Equally, open source zealots should start to build bridges with commercial software companies like Microsoft.