packaging, servicing, and supporting free computer software rather than the traditional software licensing model.
Open source software is flowering this spring in Greater Boston. Companies are distributing, writing programs for, investing in, and profiting from,
the free computer software that is emerging as an alternative to proprietary systems like Microsoft Windows.
Red Hat Inc., the leading distributor of the Linux open source computer operating system, has designated its Westford site a "center of competency,"
in effect its development hub. Red Hat plans to add about two dozen jobs there this spring and another 55 by the end of the year. Employment at
Westford, the company's second-largest site after its Raleigh, N.C., headquarters, already has doubled to about 120 in the past 18 months, with
another 10 engineers from a Red Hat customer, Japan's Fujitsu Ltd., collaborating there on server applications.
Meanwhile, high-tech survivor Novell Inc., which recently moved its corporate offices to Waltham from Provo, Utah, is remaking itself as an open
source company. Novell is readying the Mono project, an open source version of Microsoft's .NET development platform, for shipment in June. It's also
digesting acquisitions of open source pioneer Ximian Inc. of Boston and Germany's SUSE Linux AG, a Red Hat rival.