OSDL to shift focus

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OSDL to shift focus

Linux labs' chief executive steps down.

The Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) has laid off nine employees as the organization will shift focus.

The layoffs include chief executive Stuart Cohen. The company didn't appoint a replacement, but put current chief financial officer Mike Temple in charge of everyday operations as chief operating officer. Following the restructuring the organization employs a staff of 19.

"OSDL has made some difficult decisions to align its resources to address specific projects and programs that focus on the things that create the greatest value for its members," said Mike Temple.

"Linux has received unprecedented market validation and continues to see unprecedented growth. As the market matures, OSDL will continue to refine its focus to meet the evolving needs of our members."

The not-for-profit organisation aims to further the adoption of Linux. It is funded by commercial technology vendors such as CA, IBM and Intel.

The changes were caused by the increased adoption rate of Linux. Instead of pushing Linux as a whole, the organisation will focus on niche projects where it can have the most impact on increasing Linux adoption such as Project Portland that was unveiled earlier this year.

The organization plans to increase its focus on legal issues such as licensing and patents as well as promote closer collaboration between community developers, its member organisations and software users.

OSDL provided the initial funding for the Software Freedom Law Centre and the group's general counsel is a director with the organisation. The organisation also has a patent commons project that aims to assist developers and IT managers in using patents that have been pledged to open source.

The group also employs several open source developers including Linux creator Linus Torvalds. While it remains to provide a "safe haven" for Torvalds as well as other key open source developers, OSDL is expected to restructure projects that developed Linux distributions addressing niche markets or applications such as carrier grade, mobile and desktop Linux versions.

Stuart Cohen will be starting a new venture that will "explore open source joint development using best practices in collaboration and building communities," he said.
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