InfoWorld's Test Center picks the best open source productivity software and mobile tools of 2011
One of the most intense discussions we had preparing this list revolved around whether Android was truly open source. There are more than a handful of impediments to launching an Android phone, and many of them involve seeking permission from Google to use the source. In one of the worst cases, Google lawyers tried to block a Microsoft expert from talking about the Android source code. If the source code is so open, why is a gag order needed?
As you're reading this now, you can see we decided to give Android the benefit of the doubt. The very fact that there's a wide range of Android tablets available for a low price speaks loudly to Google's commitment to share the code openly. Some Android lovers who think the tablets are an embarrassment want Google to shut them down, but there's not much that Google can do because of the open source license.
It took only a few days for hackers to figure out how to install Android on the abandoned HP TouchPad. The hackers may not have the latest chunk of Android available to them, but they do having something that's quite functional. And what about the appliance companies putting the Android source code into refrigerators of all things? That has to mean something.
The Bossies 2011 index:
This slideshow, "Bossie Awards 2011: The best open source desktop and mobile software," originally appeared at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in applications, mobile technology, and open source at InfoWorld.com.