Yet Another Misinformed Swipe At Open Source and Linux

by Ostatic Staff - Nov. 03, 2011

Wow, get a load of Forrester's Mike Gualtieri's rant against Linux: "Poor struggled so hard to dominate the world...It never even came close to Microsoft Windows on the desktop, with less than 2% share of desktops." Gualtieri goes on to say that no true Linux distribution is a contender on smartphones (although he does recognize that Android is Linux-based). Gualtieri's rant is obviously link bait, and perhaps it's right to say nothing about it, but this statement he makes is truly over the top and calls for reaction: "Open source never seems to be the innovator. Instead it seems to disrupt pricing power for established technologies." Geez.

All you have to do is look at what's going on in browsers to see open source innovation in spades. As noted here yesterday, open source browsers are steadily eating into Internet Explorer's market share, and anyone who uses Chrome and Firefox knows that they deliver innovation faster than Microsoft's browser does. 

Or, look at the huge amount of action going on around Hadoop, which is transforming how businesses and organizations sift and analyze large data sets. Open source ushers in innovation and challenges pricing power for established technologies--both good things. 

Dominating the consumer desktop has not been a point of focus for the Linux community for years. Red Hat, a huge public company focused on Linux, doesn't even make it a priority. At least Gualtieri concedes that over 60 percent of servers on the Internet run Linux, but he doesn't even discuss embedded Linux, or technologies that have flourished as offshoots of Linux. 

His rant wouldn't be worth commenting on, except for the charge against open source innovation. It's all around us.