The Linux Box Joins Open Source for America

by Ostatic Staff - Aug. 18, 2009

Recently, we covered the Open Source for America initiative, which is backed by many heavy-hitting companies and individuals. It will focus on encouraging the use of open source software at the U.S. Federal level, and educating decision makers about open source. Also recently, Kristin did an interesting and far-ranging interview with Elizabeth Ziph, CEO and co-founder of The Linux Box. It's a ten-year old Ann Arbor-based software development consultancy that customizes open source projects for clients across a variety of sectors.

Today, The Linux Box has announced that it is joining the Open Source for America cause. This will no doubt ratchet up the already formidable amount of Linux-focused representation that Open Source for America has.

In addition to the folks at the The Linux Box, the Open Source for America initiative is already backed by Canonical's Mark Shuttleworth, The Linux Foundation's Jim Zemlin, companies such as Red Hat, and many other Linux notables. The Linux Box's CEO, Elizabeth Ziph, said this in the company's announcement:

"As part of the Infrastructure Subcommittee, The Linux Box will be calling on over a decade of integration and project management experience in the open source space. "In this tough economic climate, both private and public companies are leveraging open source technologies to solve business and IT challenges. The U.S. government, however, has not been as quick to leverage the collaborative power of open source software. As a member of OSA, we will do our best to promote the freedoms that open source software and open technology solutions can provide – an open, transparent and cost-effective option – for government agencies.”

As more and more people and companies join the Open Source for America initiative, it's good to see doers, and not just talkers, signing on. In our interview with Elizabeth Ziph, for example, she emphasized that The Linux Box has focused on achieving significant cost-cutting for organizations adopting open source solutions, and how it supports organizations that make the leap. As the federal government seeks to shift from proprietary to open source solutions, both of those issues--cost savings and the availability of support--will be top priorities.

It's also good to see organizations that aren't directly involved with promoting their own software solutions joining Open Source for America. Let's hope Vivek Kundra, the first American CIO, and federal CTO Aneesh Chopra, listen carefully to the very experienced members of Open Source for America. Let's also hope that the initiative does not devolve into commercial open source vendors simply seeking big government contracts for their own offerings.

You, too, can get involved with Open Source for America, by signing on here.