When Oracle acquired Sun Microsystem, it gained the reputation (which the company will soon tarnish) of being the world’s largest Open Source company. Once Oracle got hold of Sun, it started shutting down or killing the open source projects in a ruthless manner, which many of us feared.
The leading open source projects were forked and Oracle distanced itself from them. OpenOffice is dead (only to be scavenged by IBM), OpenSolaris is gone, Hudson is gone, Java has become a ‘closed’ technology owned by Oracle/IBM. Java developers may never forgive Oracle for the way it took a U-Turn from its own stand on Java. Now, MySQL is the only major open source project which is being run by Oracle – forks are already in place in case Oracle pulls plugs off MySQL.
So, what does Oracle have? Just MySQL. Does it make it the largest open source company in the world? No. So, which one is the largest open source company?
* Google owns Android, the world’s most advanced (writing just to annoy Steve Jobs) mobile operating system.
* Google develops Google Chrome, the world’s fastest and most popular (after Firefox) open source browser.
* Google develops ChromeOS, an open source cloud-based operating system built on top of Gentoo Linux.
* Google has open sourced the components – WebM and WebP – which can become the foundation of image and video on the Internet (yes a lot of work is yet to be done).
* Google just open sourced WebRTC.
* Not to forget, Google also runs the world’s largest hacking/developers event for the promotion of open source — Google Summer of Code.
Despite, its core technologies being proprietary, Google has done more than enough for the Free Software community, it has always paid heed to the call of community and did what was needed — open sourced VP8 when the Free Software Foundation made a call to release the technology as a free software technology.
There is no other company in the world which despite its size and market position has offered so much to the Free Software community.
Google’s deeds make it the world’s largest open source company — a crown it snatched from Oracle.Tags: Google, Ra