Google, of course, has been highly adept in using open source as a weapon in its own march to world domination. The blog post written by Google senior vice president of product management Jonathan Rosenberg, "The meaning of open," has become a kind of open source rallying cry as well as a brilliant piece of marketing, with Rosenberg providing a philosophical wrapper around the company's commitment to Apache 2.0 licensing for its four projects: Chrome, Android, Chrome OS, and Google Web Toolkit.
We all know Microsoft has been making noises about interoperability with Linux ever since it announced its deal with Novell some years back. But last November it felt compelled to take another step and announced that the 4.0 version of the .Net Micro Framework (mainly for embedded systems) would be available under the Apache 2.0 license. And in December, after it became clear that open source code was in a Windows 7 installer, Microsoft quickly announced that the installer would be available under GPL.
There are many more examples of open source ascendancy than I can cite here. Even WhiteHouse.gov adopted Drupal as its content management system. (And do I really need to mention that the whole EU mess over Oracle's acquisition of Sun is about ensuring that MySQL stays a viable alternative?) Clearly this has been a banner year, despite the grinding forces of the Great Recession that pushed many open source startups to the edge of disaster. I'm betting we'll have a lively Open Source Business Conference this year.