Why we still love open source

Open source is the medium of choice for the world's most creative developers, as shown in InfoWorld's 2011 Best of Open Source Software Awards

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Open source is even providing solutions for IT's most pressing problem of all: the urgent imperative to increase data center efficiency, agility, and cost effectiveness. Today's imperative, as I noted a couple of weeks ago, is "modernize or else" -- and private cloud software promises a means to that end. We punted and gave both Eucalyptus and OpenStack the Bossie since both private cloud projects are in their early stages and have high potential to assist IT in managing shared resources.

Finally, a word about LibreOffice: No, an office suite can't be called cutting edge. But LibreOffice, a spin-off project created in reaction to Oracle's ham-fisted attempt to squeeze revenue from OpenOffice customers, rejuvenated the whole OpenOffice endeavor. The improved usability and performance over OpenOffice led us to give LibreOffice a Bossie. Perhaps more important, the LibreOffice rebellion ended up persuading Oracle to hand the OpenOffice code base over to the Apache Foundation.

The power of open source to change the game lives on. And from a practical perspective, without a massive marketing budget, how does an insurgent startup unseat entrenched software players without "giving away" a hot new solution and figuring out how to make money later? The industry is littered with open source software companies that failed in that endeavor. But in many cases the code they produced lives on, and, for the foreseeable future, the best and the brightest developers will continue to debut their efforts under the open source banner.

This article, "Why we still love open source," originally appeared at InfoWorld.com. Read more of Eric Knorr's Modernizing IT blog, and for the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld on Twitter.

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