October 8, 2009, 12:01 am
In the battle for supremacy among the software industry's Big Four, Cisco may be placing the biggest bets and angling for the biggest returns. Some still think of Cisco as a networking hardware vendor, but hardware is simply Cisco's beachhead into others' turf, similar to how Microsoft (desktop), Oracle (database), and IBM (everything) are using core strengths to move into adjacent markets.
If anyone needed further confirmation of Cisco's software aspirations, its forays into Linux offer a strong hint.
In what might have looked like a publicity stunt around a $100,000 prize for Linux developers, Cisco's Linux development contest was actually a major clue as to just how serious it is about becoming a leading server vendor with a global development community--and soon...
[Editor's Disclosure: I participated as a judge in this contest. -BKP]