Samsung embraces Linux and 'open source'

Brian Chen | The New York Tmes | June 5, 2012

Samsung on Tuesday said it was becoming a platinum member of the Linux Foundation, giving $500,000 to the nonprofit in support of the Linux system and the open-source projects related to it. The membership status gives Samsung a seat on the foundation’s board, allowing it to have more of a say in how Linux is developed.

The effects of the investment are not immediately visible — it’s more like a long-term commitment in which Samsung gives back to a community it takes from to make its own products. Many of Samsung’s products, like its televisions, cameras and Android phones, use at least some Linux-based software. Samsung’s contribution to the Linux Foundation helps safeguard the success of its products, said Jim Zemlin, an executive director of the Linux Foundation.

Mr. Zemlin said Samsung’s commitment would make it a global leader in the open source movement, which would help it compete with Apple. Top contributors to the Linux Foundation include Intel, Red Hat and Oracle, according to Mr. Zemlin.