Marc Andreessen Gives 12 Good Reasons For Open Source

Netscape's co-founder has a new Linux product and a list as long as your arm of reasons why he believes open-source will grow increasingly important over the next five to 10 years.

InformationWeek Staff, Contributor

March 22, 2004

1 Min Read

8) "Servers have always been expensive and proprietary, but Linux runs on Intel." Intel has become a dominant server platform over the past five years. As commodity hardware continues to develop, Andreessen sees a time when vendors sell disposable servers that are more expensive to fix than they are to replace. Linux is also the bridge between older Unix systems and newer Intel systems. The migration from Unix to Windows is more of a challenge.

9) "Embedded devices are making greater use of open source." In the future, any gadget with a power source will contain a chip, an operating system, and Wi-Fi connectivity. Tivo digital recorders, for example, run on Linux.

10) "There are an increasing number of companies developing software that aren't software companies." Andreessen says that in the future, most software developers will work for companies in a particular vertical industry. This means those developers are going to need a development platform with a great deal of support, which they'll get from each other and established hardware and software makers like Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Novell, and Red Hat.

11) "Companies are increasingly supporting Linux." IBM invented proprietary systems, and now it's one of Linux's biggest supporters. Companies that continue to make proprietary software, including Opsware, are developing ways for that software to work in open-source environments. Open source is a good fit for databases, operating systems, and other software that large numbers of people use without much modification, he says. Enterprise software, which generally is heavily customized, is less of a fit.

12) "It's free." Enough said.

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