Enterprise Linux Log

Oct 23 2008   4:30PM GMT

Collective Linux development model will be tough to beat, report says

Don Rosenburg Profile: Dkr

The humble penguin is mascot of quite a treasure.

According to an updated Linux Foundation study, to build from scratch today, the Linux kernel would cost $1.4 billion; a typical Linux distro, $1.2 billion. In addition, Fedora 9, the current community version of Red Hat’s operating system, would cost a whopping $10.8 billion to replicate in current dollars.

The study also quoted a report from Framingham, Mass.-based IDC that appraised the collective value of the entire Linux computing ecosystem at $25 billion. That’s quite a trajectory for Linux Torvalds’ kernel in just 17 years.

The conclusion underlines the obvious: Linux has become a computing powerhouse, running everything from tiny mobile devices to the largest banks and supercomputers. While the software’s open code and modular construction are inherent advantages, the massive Linux community of individual and corporate developers who share the task and cost of improving the software are key to the platform’s success, the report concludes. In contrast, proprietary software companies, which must shoulder their development costs in isolation, will ultimately be hard put to compete with the open source model, the report concludes.

No kidding. As far as this blog is concerned, the report and its conclusions preach to the converted.

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