by Scott Collison on March 09, 2010 06:00am

 

As we get ready for the Open Source Business Conference in San Francisco later this month, Microsoft asked us to pull some statistics around how Windows plays in the broader Open Source ecosystem.

As you may know, the Geeknet network includes SourceForge, Slashdot, ThinkGeek, Ohloh, and freshmeat. Each month, we provide over 40 million geeks with content, connections and commerce.

What we found when we pulled the data was really interesting: starting with the fact that the amount of Open Source Software (OSS) that is Windows compatible has been steadily climbing over time, from 72 percent in early 2005 to some 82 percent in late 2009.

In terms of actual numbers, this means that some 350,000 Open Source projects are now Windows compatible, out of a total of about 433,000 Open Source projects.

This growth pretty much mirrors Microsoft's increased engagement with Open Source Software, with increased participation in open source projects, supporting open source applications on its platforms and even using open source code in some of its products.

What we also found was that the majority of new OSS projects starting today are operating system agnostic, largely thanks to the popularity of scripting languages and managed runtimes.

Interestingly, our research also found that Windows is the only operating system that runs all of the top 10 all-time most downloaded projects on SourceForge: eMule, Azureus/Vuze, Ares Gallery, 7-Zip, Filezilla, GTK+ and Gimp Installer for Windows, Audacity, PortableApps.com: Portable Software/USB, DC++, and BitTorent.

Also, of the top 25 all-time most-downloaded projects on SourceForge, 23 run on Windows, and 14 of them only run on Windows.

We will be available to discuss this, and other, data in greater depth at our Birds of a Feather lunch discussion at OSBC on Wednesday March 17, between 12h30 and 14h00. At the lunch we will focus on how open source development and proprietary development models are becoming increasingly complementary, and the trends we are seeing around open source development on Microsoft platforms.

I look forward to seeing you there for a lively conversation!