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'Open source software is gaining momentum'

Kim Polese shot to fame as the brand manager at Sun Microsystems, when she devised the name Java for the firm’s computer programming language. Currently, the CEO of SpikeSource, she spoke to Rahul Sachitanand on a recent visit to India.

Rahul Sachitanand | Print Edition: August 23, 2009

Kim Polese shot to fame as the brand manager at Sun Microsystems, when she devised the name Java for the firm’s computer programming language. Currently, the CEO of SpikeSource, she spoke to Rahul Sachitanand on a recent visit to India. Excerpts:

Why are so many companies suddenly interested in open source software?
The current slowdown has slashed most companies’ IT budgets and they now need to manage their IT requirements with smaller budgets. Open source software allows them a lower cost of ownership and more freedom to customise their infrastructure.

But aren’t people more familiar with Microsoft and other “closed” software?
Yes, but I think mixed source is the future. We have seen many companies opt for Linux to run their mission-critical applications, but the end-users’ familiarity with Microsoft Office, for example, means it will not go away soon. However, open source software has become much more interoperable.

You’ve seen the Oracle-Sun deal from close quarters. What is the future for a relatively small company like SpikeSource?
Despite mega deals, we think there is space for a niche, independent software company. We started out as an open source shop, but our technology (SpikeSource Factory) plays an important role in helping customers improve their software development processes.

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