Novell plans to begin opening up development of one of its Linux products to outside programmers in a project called OpenSuse, a strategy similar to that taken by rival Red Hat.
Novell is launching the project in an attempt to attract more outside developers, new users and, ultimately, market share. Novell is the No. 2 seller of Linux after Red Hat.
Novell isn’t the only one trying a more open approach. Sun Microsystems has begun opening its Solaris source code in an effort to regain the relevance the Unix version has lost to Linux.
Of course this seems like a great idea for companies because they get some R&D work done for free for them. But it’s not easy to get a plan like this going. RedHat have been trying for over 2 years with Fedora, and it’s not really going as they wish.
I think the reason why might be because open source developers actually perceive themselves as rebels against the corporate system, who wouldn’t really back a project they feel is one-sided and totally for the benefit of a certain company.
The developers think more in terms of community; something companies don’t really care about in the end of the day when their shareholders and board of directors are banging on the tables.
[More: CNet News]