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OSDL Seeks To Be Linux Center of Gravity - page 3

Raising a Ruckus in Beaverton, Oregon

  • August 21, 2003
  • By Dee-Ann LeBlanc

Cohen outlines three distinct things that need to happen to help OSDL achieve its goal to become "the center of gravity for Linux development." First, the lab needs provide its fair share of leadership and development in the open source community. This is the real impetus behind hiring Torvalds and Morton.

The second set of methods is where Grega comes in. His job as the Director of Business Development is multi-faceted. Brian Grega's role with OSDL is to:

  • Work with current OSDL members on joint sales and marketing ventures.
  • Build awareness of open source and Linux within the IT and related industries.
  • Recruit new member companies within both the IT and end user company sectors--businesses that make use of the products that Linux might run on.

There's no exclusive licensing to prohibit more than one player in an industry from joining. Member companies' markets and products can and do overlap, which strengthens all of them since it strengthens their voice within the OSDL.

The next big step is recruiting more of the IT vendor, Independent Software Vendor (ISV), and hardware community to join OSDL. This action would improve support for Linux on an even wider range of hardware and software, and would help to increase usability and the feature set available. How? Through the third step that needs to happen: yet more involvement from the end user community. It's difficult to have too much of that. Meanwhile, OSDL will work with its end user council, Gartner, and IDC to continue building out the Linux value chain and business models.

According to Cohen, as OSDL grows, so will its global presence. Already, OSDL has facilities in both the US and Japan, and members in many other locations throughout the world. Even so, most of the people who utilize OSDL don't actually visit one of their sites. Another area in which the group needs to grow is local Linux business development representatives, architecture managers, and technical support partners.

In the meantime, on July 24, OSDL added its first non-IT Global 2000 member: Unilever. Unilever plans to "migrate its information technology systems from Unix to Linux on Intel-standard hardware in all 80 countries where it operates," according to OSDL's related press release. "'Unilever's goal is to standardize its IT architecture around Linux and deliver computer systems around the world without having to worry about operating system or hardware compatibility issues,' said Colin Hope-Murray, CTO of the global IT infrastructure group at Unilever. 'OSDL gives us a unique venue where we can work directly with the world's major IT vendors and with the open source development community on an equal basis to participate in the growth of Linux.'"

On July 31, OSDL released a position paper on the SCO Group's attempts to profit off of Linux, and then on August 4 OSDL added Ulitcom, Inc. to its ranks for working on Carrier Grade Linux. Next, on August 5, OSDL added Sun Microsystems, Inc., to its roster "to help drive the development of open-standard software including Linux and to lend its expertise in the data center and carrier-grade markets."

The center of gravity for Linux development, indeed.

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