During presentations at LinuxWorld by both HP and Red Hat yesterday, keynote speakers pleaded with open source developers to look beyond Linux.
Red Hat chief executive Matthew Szulik called on the open source community to "challenge convention, not take small mindedness as we have seen in the last 20 to 30 years for granted".
Szulik suggested that open source is the only answer to the chilling effects of consolidation in the IT industry, which is severely limiting customer choice.
"Tripping into technology is what I would call the Noah's ark syndrome: we are starting to see now two databases, two forms of middleware," he said.
The call for open source providers to expand their offerings comes at a time when Linux itself appears to have reached a point of completeness, which could enable some of the open source community to shift their efforts to different applications.
"Linux is entering its boring phase," HP's vice president of Linux, Martin Fink, told attendees during his keynote presentation.
Many companies that use Linux today fail to realise that their cost savings are mainly a result of the innovative powers of open source, said Fink. He contended that it is time for Linux to move away from the centre of attention and let open source get in the limelight.
"[Open source] allows companies to take cost out of the system at an amazing rate. To remain competitive, companies cannot afford not to take advantage of these changes," he said.
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