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Thread: Why do IBM, Novell and other big corporations contribute to open source?

  1. #1
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    Why do IBM, Novell and other big corporations contribute to open source?

    I have a general question about open source. I understand why programmers work on it for free, and I understand why rich people like the guy who started ubuntu will give large donations to start companies to develop it. The thing I don't understand is why big corporations like IBM and Novell do it. They are all about money and profit. Why do they this for free. There is obviously something about this I don't understand.

  2. #2
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    Re: Why do IBM, Novell and other big corporations contribute to open source?

    IBM wants a free operating system that will run on their hardware. Rapid development of Linux allows them to deliver their hardware and services quicker and more cheaply.

  3. #3
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    Re: Why do IBM, Novell and other big corporations contribute to open source?

    There are many reasons. A lot of corporations use open source software. If a project they rely on is dying they will more than likely help fund it. Monetary contributions are not the only form of "donation" there is either. Some companies actually help with the code itself. I don't remember where I heard this but someone once said "The best way to get that fancy new feature your company wants is to code it yourself."

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    Re: Why do IBM, Novell and other big corporations contribute to open source?

    exactly IBM are the ones who added patchs for the linux kernel to work with the cell processor, they do it because they want linux to run on their hardware.

    Some companies add code because simply put they don't want a push for open standards, the largest contributors to openoffice is IBM, and Sun (I believe, dunno about IBM giving source code though) and they do it so MS Office does not have a complete market share hold, and start creating their own proprietary standards. This means that other companies cannot create their own office suites because MS wont support the competitions document formats (I don't think office will open any openoffice format), and it also means that companies will have to reverse engineer ms formats, and that can take time, every time a new version is out, they have to reverse engineer their format again.

    Its why Netscape open sourced Navigator and how the mozilla foundation was created, if Microsoft got a complete hold on the browser market then they could pervert the W3C standards.

    BTW Its to help open up standards or create shared standards when they are appropriate, and necessary.

  5. #5
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    Re: Why do IBM, Novell and other big corporations contribute to open source?

    Because they (at long last) understand the power of open source.

  6. #6
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    Re: Why do IBM, Novell and other big corporations contribute to open source?

    Quote Originally Posted by parker13 View Post
    Because they (at long last) understand the power of open source.
    That's a self-serving answer and not terribly helpful, I'm afraid.

    The "power" is that it drives their development costs down, mercilessly. That translates into greater profit margins on their services and/or reduced prices for their customers.

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    Re: Why do IBM, Novell and other big corporations contribute to open source?

    first of all, IBM, Novell and not to mention netscape is dying that time.

    second, yeah they finally got the idea of openness.

    actually moving to Open Source make perfectly good business sense. i mean, IBM into support, so it is not a bad idea to support linux. it is easier for an Open Source OS to be ported to other hardware, try do that with windows. Also by going into open source, more people will be writing software for it. look at eclipse. and maybe jeronimo server. and it is a good move indeed.

    another example is novell. novell's own netware don't really sells anymore, so they need a new revenue stream. so at least to me, linux make a good choice. i can't really imagine, what other software product can be profitable.

    not to mention everything is about, reducing cost and increased profits
    Last edited by sweemeng; January 13th, 2007 at 02:21 AM.

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    Re: Why do IBM, Novell and other big corporations contribute to open source?

    The fact is, free community driven and community contributed software >>>>>>>>> Company made software 8)
    If someone tells you to sudo rm -rf ANYTHING, then DO NOT DO IT!

    Don't run any command with rm in it unless you know EXACTLY what you're doing.

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    Re: Why do IBM, Novell and other big corporations contribute to open source?

    Quote Originally Posted by sweemeng View Post
    first of all, IBM, Novell and not to mention netscape is dying that time.

    umm, when was IBM at the point of dying, I dont think IBM was ever at that point.

  10. #10
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    Re: Why do IBM, Novell and other big corporations contribute to open source?

    Quote Originally Posted by spockrock View Post
    umm, when was IBM at the point of dying, I dont think IBM was ever at that point.
    it doesn't!!!!!!!!!!!
    my mistake

    i think open source does helps alot there.

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