I cut the below montage-y overview of the history of enterprise open source from a Register piece I’m working on. Here it is!
For me, the dawn of enterprise open source was somewhere around 2001 when IBM committed billions of dollars to shoring up Linux. Around this same time, the Eclipse Foundation (also launched by IBM) started it’s IDE market re-rigging, and the Apache Web Server was climbing the hill to market dominance piloting the way for the rest of the Apache Software Foundation.
Java’s history is representative of open source’s involvement with most infrastructure software. Java started as closed source, holding onto that model like a waterlogged man hugging floating detritus. Despite this, in the 2000s Java’s course was changed by the influence of open source with the likes of Fleury’s JBoss crew (how I miss their pirate-like antics!), Apache Tomcat, and the Spring Framework. These and so many other open source projects acted as forcing functions for innovation in Java and still do. Eventually, Sun open sourced Java, both JBoss and Spring were gobbled up by larger companies, and open source became the norm in the Java world.
To top this all off, Microsoft open sourced .Net in 2014 and now supports a wide array of open source software in its Azure cloud. Open source is the de facto standard when it comes to new infrastructure software.