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Volkswagen snubs proprietary clouds

German automotive giant Volkswagen has selected the Openstack private cloud, specifically Mirantis‘ distribution of it, for its internal and customer-facing operations. The deal will apply throughout the Volkswagen group, says Computerworld.

The significance of this contract lies in the implications for the proprietary companies selling their own versions of the cloud. Volkswagen’s view is that the proprietary operators will not be able to keep pace with the open source people in terms of innovations.

If the automotive company is right, this will be a complete reversal of the position almost 30 years ago in the operating system world. Back then, open systems (Unix at the time) came out in different versions from Altos, SCO and others; but these were sufficiently disparate (and let’s be honest, didn’t have the marketing clout) to open the door for the proprietary Microsoft Windows to dominate the market for a long time, particularly when it released Windows NT, the enterprise-level version of the system.

It appears that the tide may have been re-set in favour of the more open approach in the current market. That’s if Volkswagen is right, of course – we’ll watch the cloud’s progress with interest after this.