By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2007-09-19 Print this article Print

: Most Commercial Software Will Include Open Source"> Open source is also now mainstream, with people no longer using Linux and open-source software on the fringe, but for real applications, Driver said. He noted that the percentage of open-source software deployed across both non-mission-critical and mission-critical instances nearly equaled the deployment split between proprietary software and that developed internally. With regard to the future, Driver said there would be a number of changing adoption patterns through 2012, by which time the primary adoption drivers would become cost and risk, with flexibility and independence being secondary, whereas the reverse has been the case for open-source adoption in 2007.
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He also suggested that the open-source software community would expand and divide, and there were two possible scenarios for how this would play out by 2011: Community goals could remain close enough that a single model was retained, or the goals would diverge, resulting in two models emerging with minimum overlap. "Which way it will go, I do not know. There will be change, which has already happened and continues to take place, but the end result of all that change is not clear as yet," Driver said. With regard to why a company like IBM, which has poured billions of dollars into the development of its own Unix-based AIX operating system, loved Linux, Driver said the primary reason was that it hurt two of its largest competitors: Sun and Microsoft. "While Sun has changed its direction and focus of late, IBM likes Linux these days because it hurts Microsoft," he said. Open source would also affect every software market rather than just creating its own, Driver said, adding that a new type of software was emerging, known as "gated-source" software, which was neither purely open source nor proprietary. He also said there are four factors that should drive customer open-source software decisions: whether it does what they need it to, whether the project is mature enough to provide an acceptable risk/reward strategy, what the users technology adoption profile is, and how the open product will be deployed, he said. In conclusion, Driver said the pendulum was shifting, with users getting more leverage. "You need to establish a criteria for evaluating open-source software products as well as procedures to adopt and maintain them. Open source is not a niche play or a fad; it is in the mainstream and here to stay," he said. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest open-source news, reviews and analysis.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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