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Ross Turk, Director of Community at SourceForge.net, says that even though budgets have declined in the current economic climate, companies still need to innovate, and new products still need to go out. Open source technologies provide an existing framework from which companies can derive new products and services.

SourceForge.net is the most popular provider of open source technologies, hosting thousands of open source projects on its website. The number of downloads on SourceForge.net have been increasing since late last year. The site generally runs at about 2.5 million downloads per day, and Turk reports that on January 31, 2009 the SourceForge.net site reached 3.2 million downloads (see Figure 1).

SourceForge.net, the leader in hosting for open source software projects, shows an increase in the average number of downloads of open source projects in the past year.

Figure 1: SourceForge.net, the leader in hosting for open source software projects, shows an increase in the average number of downloads of open source projects in the past year.

Turk reflects on the history of open source software and its propagation into various technologies that were largely proprietary until now: First, Linux became a standard operating system in the datacenter. At its inception, Linux was a result of open source collaboration on USENET, when Linus Torvalds, then a student at the University of Helsinki, wanted more features in his newly built operating system. Then open source software progressed into the middleware software stack with application servers such as the JBoss project. Now Turk says there is increasing popularity of open source solutions in ready-made business software suites for functions such as customer relationship management, business analytics, and enterprise resource planning.

SourceForge.net has recently implemented virtualization technology for its Hosted Apps platform, where customers can sign up and start using readily configured open source software such as wikis, blogs, and image galleries.

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