We were reminded of this factor when we saw Tech Drive-In’s list of 11 Biggest Open Source Success Stories That Are Changing The World As We Know It. And all of them are tied to web and Internet business in one way or another.
We have Linux in general and Red Hat Enterprise Linux in particular (Linux is dominating the web server market and Red Hat is one of the chief vendors), Ubuntu (the most successful user-level Linux distro, distributed mostly over the web), WordPress and Drupal (there’s your whole CMS management system for websites), MySQL and Apache (the web server that ties it all together), Firefox and Google Chrome (two of the most popular web browsers), and of course Android (bringing mobile phones into the market). That leaves Open Office as the only desktop-related, non-web technology… although it’s a standard fixture on Linux.
Where’s the competition? Microsoft is still pushing against the web browsers with Internet Explorer, now at version 9, so they’re still alive there. Granted, MS web servers do make a dent in the market. Oracle competes with MySQL… But really, when you look at the whole ecommerce world, it seems like open source software has completely skunked the competition. We can think of no widely-adopted proprietary blog software or CMS.
It kind of tells you that the open web and open source software go hand in hand.