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The past year was the most tumultuous in recent memory for the field of open-source software. Instead of mere sniping, such as the "Truth About Linux" campaign, open source has come under more direct assault.
It's almost axiomatic at this point: the more open source succeeds in the enterprise, the more threatening it is to entrenched interests.
IT managers are asking the questions that are making many commercial software suppliers set for battle. "If commercial software is so good, how come it can be matched by a group working for free?" "If free is bad, show me the value your company has added to its commercial code that makes it worth more?" "I'm plugged into this project. What have you got that's better?"
The dominant software suppliers have yet to answer, not to a bunch of wild-eyed, wobbly coders, nor to the IT managers with the purchasing power. And that's a different ball game.
If you want to slow down open source code's onslaught, subtlety isn't going to work. It's time to bring out the heavy artillery. And, alongside the actual deals and advances in open source, that's what we saw in 2007.
Indeed, there were important advances in GPL, Apache, Web services, and Java, which made commercial software suppliers more worried than ever. For my complete list, with perspective on each of the important developments of the just-ended year, read Top 10 Open-Source Software Stories of 2007.
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BlackBerry Maker Proposes An Angular Keyboard For Mobile Devices
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Top Five Open Source Stories Of 2007
It's been a landmark year for open source, and in so many different ways that even a casual survey of the year's events will range far and wide. Here's a quick rundown of what to me were the top five open source events of the year -- not an exhaustive list, of course, but the things that best reflected how important and widely entrenched open source software (especially Linux) has become.
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