Who loves the Mac? Open sourcerors, that's who

The Mac is perhaps what the Linux desktop will become: The preferred platform for open-source applications. But today when open-source developers are looking for a platform that will showcase their applications to a wide variety of forward-thinking custo

The VAR Guy picks up on a small but growing component of Apple's fan base: The open-source crowd. He writes, "As the Apple Macintosh nears a record 8 percent market share, The VAR Guy strongly believes open source is accelerating the Macintosh's momentum."

The VAR Guy cites Alfresco (on track to hit 80 percent company penetration by Macs) as an example of Apple's growing influence within the open-source community. We're not alone. MuleSource and other open-source peers are heavy Mac adopters. Apple finally gave Mac addicts a way to spread the religion .

It may be too early to call it a benevolent pandemic, but as I and others have called out, the Mac makes a lot of sense for open-source developers and business people alike. Developers love the speedy access to Unix and excellent development tools .

On the business side, open source is used to unseating incumbents from an "underdog" status, just as the Mac does. The Mac is a great platform from which to launch a revolution.

Hence, open-source applications like Zimbra, Alfresco, SugarCRM, etc. often support the Mac (and Linux) as first-class citizens, unlike Microsoft software (and a great deal of other proprietary software) which often/always prejudices users to Windows. (Tried SharePoint lately? Better have Windows, Internet Explorer, SQL Server, IIS, etc. or you're out of luck.)

The Mac is perhaps what the Linux desktop will become: The preferred platform for open-source applications. But today when open-source developers are looking for a platform that will showcase their applications to a wide variety of forward-thinking customers, it's the Mac, not Linux (and certainly not Windows), that gets the love.

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About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.

     

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