Monday, December 22, 2008

Yahoo competes to be less-evil

Is it time for fans of open source to switch their affections from Google to Yahoo?

It’s a question worth asking, and one Yahoo wants asked, as it unveils its Open Strategy and starts taking some bows for what it has already done.

In particular we want to note the Yahoo User Interface library, hailed this week as one of the 25 most secure open source projects by Palamida.

While most reporters have been obsessed with talking about Yahoo’s on-off relationships with Google and Microsoft, the company has been quietly earning its open source stripes in many ways.

Yes, Yahoo hopes to earn money through closer relationships with social networks and projects like Wordpress, but if you want sackcloth you’re into FOSS, not open source.

It’s also true that Yahoo’s moves can be compared to those of Sun a few years ago. It may not work. On the other hand it may help Yahoo survive.

What is important is that there is now competition for open source attention, and loyalty, in the search engine sphere. That should, over time, benefit everyone.

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