Could open source overtake the iPhone?

A Linux official sees parallels between the iPhone's momentum and technologies from now-defunct Sun Microsystems

Apple's momentum in the mobile computing space with its iPhone platform could be eclipsed  by the open source movement, similar to how open source took the steam out of the sails of Sun Microsystems, the executive director of the Linux Foundation stressed on Wednesday.

The iPhones of enterprise computing a few years ago were Sun technologies, the Solaris OS and SPARC CPU platform, said Executive Director Jim Zemlin, during The Linux Collaboration Summit  event in San Francisco.

"You know what? That company does not exist as an independent company today," Zemlin said, referring to Oracle's acquisition of Sun.

After his presentation, Zemlin elaborated on his perspectives on Sun and its Solaris OS as well as Apple's stance vis a vis the open source community. Solaris has had to compete with the longtime open source Linux OS; Solaris did not become open source itself until 2005.

"In a few years, you may just find that what happened to Sun happens to Apple as open source and Linux and this huge collective of companies comes back with some pretty stunning stuff," Zemlin said.

Sun's fate, meanwhile, might have been different, he said.

"I think that if (former Sun CEO) Scott McNealy had open-sourced Solaris a little bit earlier, it may have been a different world, but that's a lesson of history," Zemlin said.

Solaris is still offered by Oracle, as are SPARC systems.

This article, "Could open source overtake the iPhone?," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in business technology news and get a digest of the key stories each day in the InfoWorld Daily newsletter and on your mobile device at infoworldmobile.com.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags open sourceiPhone

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Paul Krill

InfoWorld
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?