Software // Enterprise Applications
News
12/11/2006
12:10 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

What's Next For Open Source Development Labs?

Torvalds is still there, but its strategic focus is unclear.

Fallout from the Microsoft-Novell pact continued last week when the leading Linux group, Open Source Development Labs, cut nine of its staff of 28, including CEO Stuart Cohen, who resigned. OSDL's most famous employee, Linus Torvalds, owner of the Linux trademark and head of Linux kernel development, still works there.

Cohen angered members of the open source community last month by endorsing Novell's agreement with Microsoft to work on interoperability between Novell's Suse Linux and Windows. Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer's subsequent comments that Linux most likely contains Windows code didn't help.



OSDL CEO Stuart Cohen angered constituents when he backed Microsoft's Linux play
OSDL hasn't grown membership the way it's wanted to; its main source of revenue is a stagnant list of computer companies that pay annual dues. The lab's spending in 2004, the last year for which there's a filing, exceeded its $8.2 million revenue by $2.4 million. Cohen's salary that year: $507,278.

The layoffs left some of OSDL's constituency wondering what its next moves might be. "I hope it's a turn toward helping us more whole-heartedly on the software patent problem," Bruce Perens, who worked closely with Torvalds until recently, said in an E-mail.

Last year, the OSDL established a Patent Commons, to which its members may contribute and share patents. Dan Frye, VP of open systems development for IBM, an OSDL member, said in a statement last week that his company is looking forward to OSDL "extending legal initiatives to support Linux" as well as continuing many of its development projects.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Among 688 respondents, 46% have deployed mobile apps, with an additional 24% planning to in the next year. Soon all apps will look like mobile apps and it's past time for those with no plans to get cracking.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Must Reads Oct. 21, 2014
InformationWeek's new Must Reads is a compendium of our best recent coverage of digital strategy. Learn why you should learn to embrace DevOps, how to avoid roadblocks for digital projects, what the five steps to API management are, and more.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
A roundup of the top stories and trends on InformationWeek.com
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.