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Linux groups unify under the Linux Foundation

By   |  January 23, 2007

Linux will now show a unified face when taking on Microsoft and other proprietary vendors. This follows an announcement by Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) and the Free Standards Group (FSG) that they have signed an agreement to merge and form The Linux Foundation. The purpose of the merger is to aggressively accelerate the growth of Linux by providing a comprehensive set of services to compete effectively with closed platforms. The Linux Foundation aims to close the gap between open source and proprietary platforms, while sustaining the openness, freedom of choice and technical superiority inherent in open source software. "The Linux Foundation helps in the next stage of Linux growth by organising the diverse companies and constituencies of the Linux ecosystem to promote, protect, and standardise Linux," said Jim Zemlin, the former executive director of the Free Standards Group and future executive director of The Linux Foundation. "Computing is entering a world dominated by two platforms: Linux and Windows. While being managed under one roof has given Windows some consistency, Linux offers freedom of choice, customisation and flexibility without forcing customers into vendor lock-in." Founding platinum members of the new foundation include Fujitsu, Hitachi, HP, IBM, Intel, NEC, Novell and Oracle. Other members include community groups, universities, industry end users and every major company in the Linux industry, including Red Hat. Rather than building Linux or competing with existing Linux companies, it will oversee the growth of Linux. Key activities will include: – Sponsorship of Linus Torvalds and other key kernel developers so that they may remain independent. – The management of the Linux trademark ( – Legal defense to Linux developers through sponsorship of the Linux Legal Defense Fund and initiatives like the Open Source as Prior Art project ( and the Patent Commons ( – Standardising Linux and improving it as a platform for software development through the Linux Standard Base (LSB) and the Linux Developer Network. – Providing a neutral forum for collaboration and promotion by responding to competitors’ attacks and hosting collaboration events. The merger is expected to be completed early in February once it has been ratified by the members of the OSDL and FSG.


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