HP is making WebOS open source in an attempt to save it. It’s still surprising to think that this mega-tech company is turning toward open source to save itself. So where did open source start? A quick history and infographic courtesy of SourceNinja helps shed some light on the history of open source software:
Where It All Started
Open source is ubiquitous in today’s software market. Most major companies use at least some open source to run their business, and their proclivity for doing so is only rising as the years go on. Learn just how old the open source concept is and see where its bright future is headed.
In 1955, SHARE was founded as a way for IBM users to analyze the OS and discuss programming that mattered to them.
Over the next couple of decades, sharing source became a much more common practice. Big tech universities like MIT, as well as major research labs, hoped that code sharing would create a unified learning environment for the growing field of software technology.
Bell Laboratories then developed UNIX, which was offered for free on college campuses and in research centers.
Out of UNIX came Usenet, a connection between UNIX and the programmers who were revolutionizing code.
Between 1979 and 1982, just three short years, the number of sites using UNIX jumped from just 3 to about 400!
By 1983, the concept of software licensing came to be, and shortly thereafter came GNU software. The condition of use for GNU was that all source code must be open and shared.
Linux was developed in 1991, and by 1994 enough users and code programmers had contributed to the project that the improved Linux 1.0 was released.
It wasn’t until 1998 that the term “open source” was really coined — Netscape opened its code that year, and the Freeware Summit was renamed the Open Source Summit.
In 2010, Windows’ hardware revenue was up 33.6%, Linux’s server revenue was up 20.4% and Unix’s server revenue was down 29%.
x86 servers have been dominating the market in recent years–non-x86 servers have gone down 25.9% yr/yr, making Q1 2010 the fourth consecutive quarter of drops for non-x86 servers.
Windows has just 36.1% of the market share but 48.5% of the revenue share. However, 46.5% of developers use at least some open source, while 22.3% already use open source in standard applications across their business.
UNIX and programs like it make up 63.9% of the market share, and Apache is the leader with 65.18% of the available market share to itself.
Microsoft makes up 15.86%, Nginx 7.67%, Google 3.68% and 7.61% goes to other developers.
By 2016, open source is expected to be present in 99% of vital software portfolios for major companies. That’s up 24% from 2010. If you’re still in denial about the usefulness or reliability of open source, ask your colleagues — they’re likely to convince you it’s growing so fast for a reason.
Click infographic to enlarge: