Advertisement

Knowledge, Technology & Policy

, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 88–112 | Cite as

Open source standardization: The rise of linux in the network era

  • Joel West
  • Jason Dedrick
Articles

Abstract

To attract complementary assets, firms that sponsor proprietary de facto compatibility standards must trade off control of the standard against the imperative for adoption. For example, Microsoft and Intel in turn gained pervasive adoption of their technologies by appropriating only a single layer of the standards architecture and encouraging competition in other layers. In reaction to such proprietary strategies, the open source movement relinquished control to maximize adoption. To illustrate this, we examine the rise of the Linux operating system from 1995–2001, particularly the motivations of organizational buyers and suppliers of complementary assets, and Microsoft’s reaction to its success.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Ambrosio, Johanna, "POSIX is propelled by AT & T’s Unix restrictions," Government Computer News, March 13, 1987, 65.Google Scholar
  2. Bailey, Michelle, Vernon Turner, Jean Bozman and Janet Waxman, "Linux Servers: What’s the Hype, and What’s the Reality." IDC Bulletin #21610, March 2000.Google Scholar
  3. Bloomberg News, "Microsoft exec calls Linux a threat to innovation," Feb. 15, 2001, http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1003-200-4833927.htmlGoogle Scholar
  4. Bradner, Scott, "The Internet Engineering Task Force," in Chris Dibona, Sam Ockman and Mark Stone, eds., Open Sources: Voices from the Open Source Revolution. Sebastopol, Calif.: O’Reilly, 1999, pp. 47–52.Google Scholar
  5. Bresnahan, Timothy F. and Shane Greenstein, "Technological competition and the structure of the computer industry," Journal of Industrial Economics 47, 1 (Mar 1999):1–40.Google Scholar
  6. Bulkeley, William M., "Linux, maverick of computing, gets respectable," Wall Street Journal, April 9, 2001, p. B1.Google Scholar
  7. Chposky, James and Ted Leonsis, Blue Magic: The People, Power and Politics Behind the IBM Personal Computer, New York: Facts on File, 1988.Google Scholar
  8. Egyedi, Tineke M., "Why Java was -not- standardized twice," Computer Standards & Interfaces, 23, 4, (Sept 2001), 253–265.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Free Software Foundation, "What is Free Software?", May 2000, http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.htmlGoogle Scholar
  10. Gabel, H. Landis, "Open Standards in Computers: The Case of X/OPEN." In H. Landis Gabel, ed., Product Standardization and Competitive Strategy, Amsterdam: North-Holland, 1987.Google Scholar
  11. Garud, Raghu and Arun Kumaraswamy, "Changing competitive dynamics in network industries: An exploration of Sun Microsystems’ open systems strategy,” Strategic Management Journal, 14, 5 (July 1993), 351–369.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Gillen, Al and Dan Kusnetzky, "Linux Overview: Understanding the Linux Market Model." IDC Bulletin, International Data Corporation, 2000.Google Scholar
  13. Gomes, Lee, "Microsoft Uses Free Code," Wall Street Journal, June 18, 2001, p. B6.Google Scholar
  14. Greenstein, Shane M., "Lock-in and the Costs of Switching Mainframe Computer Vendors: What Do Buyers See?" Industrial and Corporate Change, 6, 2 (1997): 247–274.Google Scholar
  15. Grindley, Peter, Standards, strategy, and policy: cases and stories, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995.Google Scholar
  16. Grove, Andrew S., Only the Paranoid Survive: How to Exploit the Crisis Points that Challenge Every Company and Career, Doubleday, New York, 1996.Google Scholar
  17. Hars, Alexander and Shaosong Ou, "Working for Free? — Motivations of Participating in Open Source Projects," Proceedings of the 34th Hawai’i International Conference on System Sciences, Maui, Hawaii, January 4–6, 2001.Google Scholar
  18. IBM, "IBM Unveils Linux Software and Services for S/390 Server, Introducing Big Iron to Next Generation e-businesses," press release, Somers, NY, May 17, 2000.Google Scholar
  19. Kawamoto, Dawn and Stephen Shankland, "VA Linux storms Wall Street with 698 percent gain," CNET News.com, December 9, 1999, http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1003-200-1489252.htmlGoogle Scholar
  20. Klaus, Todd C., "Checking out Linux: looking for a good way to learn about operating system?" UNIX World 10, 3 (March, 1993): 66.Google Scholar
  21. Kraemer, Kenneth L., Jason Dedrick and Sandra Yamashiro, "Dell Computer: Refining and Extending the Business Model with IT," The Information Society, 16 (2000):5–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Lerner, Josh and Jean Tirole, "The Simple Economics of Open Source," Harvard Business School Working Paper #00-059, February 25, 2000, http://www.people.hbs.edu/jlemer/simple.pdf.Google Scholar
  23. Leibovitch, Evan, "Why Linux is like pizza," ZDNet News, March 21, 2001, http://www.zdnet.com/zdnn/stories/comment/0,5859,2695214,00.htmlGoogle Scholar
  24. Liebowitz, Stan J. and Stephen E. Margolis, Winners, Losers & Microsoft: Competition and Antitrust in High Technology. Oakland, Calif.: Independent Institute, 1999.Google Scholar
  25. Lohr, Steve, "Code Name: Mainstream; Can ‘Open Source’ Bridge the Software Gap?," New York Times, Aug. 28, 2000, p. C1Google Scholar
  26. MacCormack, Alan and Kerry Herman, "Red Hat and the Linux Revolution," Harvard Business School case #9-600-009. Harvard Business School, 1999.Google Scholar
  27. Malkin, Gary, "The Tao of IETF: A Guide for New Attendees of the Internet Engineering Task Force," RFC 1539, Information Sciences Institute, Los Angeles, August 1993.Google Scholar
  28. Markoff, John, "Gateway and AOL Bypass Industry Stalwarts on Components," New York Times, May 30, 2000, http://www.nytimes.com/library/tech/00/05/biztech/articles/30chip.htmlGoogle Scholar
  29. Morris, Charles R. and Charles H. Ferguson, "How Architecture Wins Technology Wars," Harvard Business Review, 71, 2 (March/April 1993), 86–96.Google Scholar
  30. Moschella, David C., Waves of power: dynamics of global technology leadership, 1964–2010, New York: AMACOM, 1997.Google Scholar
  31. Mundie, Craig, "The Commercial Software Model," speech, New York University Stern School of Business, May 3, 2001.Google Scholar
  32. New York Times, "Dell Bolsters Support of Windows Rival Linux," April 7, 1999, http://www.nytimes.com/library/tech/99/04/biztech/articles/07linux.htmlGoogle Scholar
  33. Newbart, Dave, "Microsoft CEO take launch break with the Sun-Times," Chicago Sun-Times, June 1, 2001, p. 57.Google Scholar
  34. OpenSource.org, "History of the Open Source Initiative," http://www.opensource.org/history.html, 1999.Google Scholar
  35. Raymond, Eric S., The cathedral and the bazaar: musings on Linux and open source by an accidental revolutionary. Cambridge, Mass.: O’Reilly, 1999.Google Scholar
  36. Ritchie, Dennis M.; and Ken Thompson, "The UNIX time-sharing system," Communications of the ACM, 17, 7 (July 1974), 365–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Salus, Peter H., A quarter century of UNIX. Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley, 1994.Google Scholar
  38. Schneider, Wolfram, "The UNIX system family tree / BSD history chart", v1.24, FreeBSD, Inc., April 30, 2000, ftp://ftp.freebsd.org/pub/FreeBSD/FreeBSD-current/src/share/misc/bsd-family-treeGoogle Scholar
  39. Shankland, Stephen, "Linux programmers get a taste of the future," CNET News.com, May 25, 2000.Google Scholar
  40. Shankland, Stephen, "Linux making gains in server market," ZDNet News, Feb. 28, 2001, http://www.zdnet.com/zdnn/stories/news/0,4586,2691286,00.htmlGoogle Scholar
  41. Shapiro, Carl and Hal R. Varian, Information rules: a strategic guide to the network economy. Boston, Mass.: Harvard Business School Press, 1999.Google Scholar
  42. SHARE, "About SHARE," 2001, http://www.share.org/community/about.jspGoogle Scholar
  43. Sobel, Robert, I.B.M., colossus in transition. New York: Times Books, 1981.Google Scholar
  44. Stallman, Richard, "The GNU Operating System and the Free Software Movement," in Chris DiBona, Sam Ockman and Mark Stone, eds., Open Sources: Voices from the Open Source Revolution. Sebastopol, Calif.: O’Reilly, 1999, pp. 53–70.Google Scholar
  45. Taft, Darryl K., "NBS workshop aims to ensure Posix portability," Government Computer News, Nov. 20, 1987, 71.Google Scholar
  46. Tanenbaum, Andrew S., Operating systems: design and implementation, Englewood Cliffs, N.J. Prentice-Hall, 1987.Google Scholar
  47. Teece, David, “Profiting from technological innovation: Implications for integration, collaboration, licensing and public policy,” Research Policy 15, 6 (Dec. 1986), 285–305.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Valloppillil, Vinod, “Open Source Software: A (New?) Development Methodology,” internal memo, Microsoft Corp., Aug. 11, 1998, http://www.opensource.org/halloween/halloween1.htmlGoogle Scholar
  49. von Hippel, Eric, The sources of innovation, New York: Oxford University Press, 1988.Google Scholar
  50. West, Joel and Dedrick, Jason, “Innovation and Control in Standards Architectures: The Rise and Fall of Japan’s PC-98,” Information Systems Research, 11, 2 (June 2000), 197–216.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Wilcox, Joe, “IBM to spend $1 billion on Linux in 2001,” CNET News.com, Dec. 12, 2000, http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1003-200-4111945.htmlGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Transaction Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joel West
    • 1
  • Jason Dedrick
    • 2
  1. 1.Graduate School of ManagementUniversity of CaliforniaIrvine
  2. 2.the Center for Research on Information Technology and Organizations 〈www.crito.uci.edu〉the University of CaliforniaIrvine

Personalised recommendations