During earlier days, the predicament that Linux had was related to lack of support from the big players. But things have now changed to a larger extent with Linux being associated with several big names and availing immense support from them. Like how Linux desktop users lately have been receiving Wi-Fi chipset support which was lacking earlier. But the recent news development that has come as quite a delightful surprise for Linux users and fans has been the entry of Broadcom to the Linux Foundation.
It is one astonishing news story because for several years the relationship between Linux and Broadcom has been that of a cat and mouse tussle. When there were helping hands lent by Intel and Atheros with respect to Wi-Fi drivers and codes, Broadcom had always remained isolated from Linux. Come 2007, Broadcom started showing some concern and hence offered more support when it came to Wi-Fi drivers. After that, during 2010 Broadcom publicly released the source code of a fully-open Linux driver for its latest generation of 11n chipsets, and post this launch the driver has stayed in Linux’s latest kernel release 2.6.37 which is also being improved upon by the Linux Community.
Broadcom’s entry to the Linux Foundation though has delighted many, yet it now needs to, in a joint effort, work towards the betterment of future technological outcome. And to ensure this happens the decision taken is that Broadcom will be working alongside –
- Linux Driver Project – to develop and improve work on Linux kernels, and
- Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit – where it can work directly with community developers, as well as other industry players and suppliers.
To speak on this amazing joint effort, there was Michael Hurlston, Senior VP & General Manager of Broadcom’s WLAN line and Amanda McPherson, VP of Marketing and Developer Programs who had opinions on this major development. Michael Hurlston said, “There is no question: Linux has become a major platform for communications devices and technologies. Our decision to open source the drivers for Broadcom’s 802.11 chipsets is in response to our growing base of customers using Linux and is the first of what we expect to be many open development success stories.”
Amanda McPherson of Linux Foundation continued to ponder on the fusion of Linux and Broadcom and said, “Broadcom understands what almost every major technology company today knows – that collaborative, open development results in benefits that include everything from supported hardware to reduced development costs. We applaud Broadcom for its recent move to work more closely with the Linux community; their membership in the Linux Foundation speaks volumes of their commitment.”
A good head-start to the New Year for both Linux and Broadcom with each of them focused on technological development. As the cliché states – It is better to be engaged, than to be single!!