Trimming the FAT: Linux and Patents

Article Source Linux Magazine
May 6, 2009, 4:08 pm

GNU/Linux. It’s free (libre) software that we all love to use. We love it because it works, because it’s open source and because it encompasses ideologies that many of us support and believe in. But what happens when these ideologies clash with the wider world? Free and open source software has very unique goals. Rather than developing an idea and locking users into that technology, it competes on the quality of the product and support services which go with it. This revolutionary paradigm is tearing down the model that has dominated the computing industry for the last number of decades.

Since its genesis in 1991, the Linux kernel has slowly been taking up market share. It is especially popular in the server market and powers much of the Internet that we know today. Of the world’s top 500 supercomputers, 439 of them run Linux, that’s a market share of 87.80%. Local and federal governments, entire education sectors and even law enforcement agencies are switching to Linux and open source technology. It doesn’t stop there, however.