Companies Behind Linux
One question which amazes many people is how the world of Open Source runs and from where it gets all its funds. Open Source and Linux developers work for free and it is a community driven and open project.
Anyone can join and for that question, anyone can leave as well. There is no-one bossing you around. But that is true only for projects which are hosted for free. There are other projects managed by Linux giants like Red Hat and Novell which get their funds from the Enterprise Solutions they provide. Additionally, there are many companies financing the world of Open Source, especially the world of Linux for their own benefit. Many of them are reputed companies specializing in providing state of the art business solutions.
One such company is Google. Even antitrust controversies like Microsoft are in the game. Microsoft has its CodePlex foundation where, it is said, Microsoft puts employees to write open source code and pays them and has been denying this fact ever since it surfaced. But Microsoft has other better things to worry and care for.
There are many other companies which deal in Linux development specifically.
Red Hat is a S&P 500 company and is a major promoter of Linux and Open Source. Its most popular product includes Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Fedora. Red Hat was founded in the year 1993 and has never looked back ever since.
The company went public in 1999 and has received wide appreciation from the Open Source world. It has its headquarters located a Raleigh, North Carolina, USA. It has 2800 employees and has a net income of 78.72 million USD. Achievements :
Red Hat grabbed the Operating System Product of the Year award more than once and has been awarded a number of times elsewhere.
The entry of Red Hat into the S&P 500 was a big win for the world of Linux and ensured continued development over the years. Red Hat has followed a number of acquisitions ever since its birth. It acquired Cygnus Solutions in 1999 and the JBoss in 2006.
These were major milestones for Red Hat. Products :
The major products of Red Hat include the Red Ha Enterprise Linux and the community driven and Red Hat backed Fedora Project. Red Hat developers work for the Fedora project project along side their mainstream job and many developments from the Fedora project make it to the Red Hat distribution releases.
Canonical Ltd. is a company founded by South African multi-millionaire Mark Shuttleworth. He made a furtune when he sold away his venture Thawte to VeriSign. Ever since, Mark Shuttleworth has been financing open source software and development all over the world through his company Canonical Ltd., which is a private company dedicated to this sole purpose.
The company was founded on 5th March 2004 and has its registered headquarters at Douglas, Isle of Man in Europe. Canonical Ltd. has revenue of 30 million USD and has a little over 200 employees.
The company has been involved in a number of activities right after after its birth.
The Software freedom day is held on the third Saturday of every September. Canonicals sponsored the event in 2005-2006 by a huge amount.
Freedom Toaster is an innovative kiosk designed for users to save on download costs and burn CD/DVD of their favorite Linux distribution of choice, for free of cost and in seconds.
The major contribution of Canonical to the world of Linux includes the Ubuntu distribution of Linux which forms the base for a number of side projects like Mint, Ubuntu Ultimate Edition etc. Ubuntu has a definitive 6 months release cycle ensuring a continuous flow of quality work from the developers. Other products include Landscape, which is a browser based web-server manager, Launchpad, the website containing Open Source software projects and Ubuntu One which is a closed source file synchronization service.
Novell was founded in 1983 and has over 4000 employees currently. Its headquarters are located at Waltham, MA, USA and the company specializes in enterprise software solutions for Linux. This is one of the oldest players in the Open Source world and has played a key role in emerging technologies like the LAN and network security.
The company was one of the first tech giants to compete with Microsoft and started with buying UNIX rights from Novell. Novell was headed by current Google CEO Eric Schmidt for a long period and has flourished to be a key competitor to the closed source world of paid software.
The company ran into many controversies due to its deal with Microsoft and was looked down upon by major Open Source communities around the world. Things have started getting better now and Novell will probably gain back the confidence it had once. Novell has a net income of 8.7 Million USD.
Novell entered into an agreement with Microsoft on 2nd November 2006 whereby it decided to setup a lab which allowed research to be carried out for better compatibility of its software with other software vendors. Novell is especially known for its excellent customer support and it holds support as a top priority in its business solution.
Novell has a number of products which include Novell NetWare, SUSE Linux and the Novell Cloud Security Service.