By most estimates, Linux and other open-source operating systems represent about
Open-source and Linux developers are gathering in Portland, Oregon, this week to show off their work, compare notes, and hone their skills.
This year, OSCON is kicking off with a new day-long program called Open Mobile Exchange. The program started this morning with a look at the state of open source in general--and Linux in particular--on mobile devices, presented by Linux Foundation executive director Jim Zemlin.
While server and desktop systems remain a key focus for open source developers, many at the conference see mobile devices as a major opportunity for growth of the Linux platform. In his opening talk, Zemlin attributed much of this enthusiasm to a the convergence of important technical and business considerations.
On the technical side, said Zemlin, Linux presents developers with a flexible platform that makes it easy to launch new software products quickly. It also now enjoys a wealth of new development platforms, including the much-touted (but somewhat delayed) Google Android and Trolltech's Qtopia. Additionally, Linux runs readily on a wide variety of CPUs and devices.
From a business perspective, Zemlin attributes the interest in mobile Linux, in large measure, to the lower development costs of royalty-free code. However, Linux also offers developers a chance to brand, skin, and customize their products in ways that major platform vendors Microsoft and Apple would never allow.
Of course, there's more to mobile open source than just Linux this year. The Symbian operating system, which represents roughly 22 percent of the smart-phone market, has gone open-source as well,
Mobile software and devices will play a major role on the show floor at OSCON this year,