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Bossies: The 2013 Best of Open Source Software Awards

This year, the annual Bossie Awards recognize 120 of the best open-source software for data centers and clouds, desktops and mobile devices, developers and IT pros

By Peter Wayner
September 17, 2013 06:06 AM ET

Infoworld - What do a McLaren Supercar, a refrigerator, a camera, a washing machine, and a cellphone have to do with open source? They're all examples of how a good pile of code can take on a new life when it's set free with an open-source license.

The same forces are turned loose in every corner of business computing, from application development and big data analytics to the software that runs our desktops, data centers, and clouds. This year's edition of our annual Best of Open Source Software Awards rounds up more than 120 top projects in seven categories:

When the Android developers started releasing their operating system in 2007, they just wanted to colonize the world of mobile phones. The iPhone was incredibly popular, and attracting any attention was a challenge. Choosing an open-source license was an easy path to partnerships with the phone manufacturers around the world. After all, giving people something free is an easy way to make friends.

In 2013, something unexpected happened: The camera engineers noticed the explosion of creative new software apps for taking photographs with mobile phones. Someone asked, "What if we put Android on our camera?" Now Android cameras with better lenses can leverage the fertile software ecosystem of Android apps.

This is the way that open-source software is supposed to work. Developers share, and software proliferates. Is it any surprise that the folks at Samsung are now making an Android refrigerator? Or an Android clothes washer? Or an Android watch? Or that McLaren, the maker of overjuiced cars, wants the radio in its car to run Android? Will there be Android in our doorbells, our cats, and our sofas? Only time and the programmers know. The source code is out there and anyone can install it.

As in years past, this year's collection of Bossie Award winners celebrates this tradition of sharing and cross-fertilization. The open source software ecosystem continues to flourish and grow as old projects continue to snowball while new projects emerge to tackle new needs.

The most successful projects, like Android, are finding new homes in unexpected places, and there seem to be more unexpected places than ever.(( Throughout the Web and the enterprise, open source is less and less the exception and more and more the rule. It's in the server stacks, it's on the desktop, and it's a big, big part of the mobile ecology.

Originally published on www.infoworld.com. Click here to read the original story.
Reprinted with permission from InfoWorld. Story copyright 2012 InfoWorld Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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