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If IBM is not the sole arbiter in determining the dominant Operating Systems in the IT world, they are certainly the closest thing out there to the elephant in the room. Well on Monday, the elephant made a decision on it's cloud technology platform, and not surprisingly, it was open source. 

According to IBM, all of its cloud services and software will be based on an open cloud architecture called OpenStack. OpenStack is a free open source cloud software managed by a non-profit entity called the OpenStack Foundation established in September 2012. A number of other major vendors - including HP, Dell, Rackspace and others - have also chosen OpenStack as their cloud platform of choice, but IBM's decision to throw its considerable influence behind OpenStack pretty much guarantees that it will be the dominant OS platform for cloud computing. 

As those familiar with IBM's history are surely aware, Big Blue has had a long time love affair with open source standards, and it was IBM's decision to support Linux over a decade ago that made Linux a formidable competitor to Microsoft in the enterprise technology market. IBM's theory behind open source standards is that it behooves enterprise customers to avoid reliance on one single vendor using a proprietary, closed source platform, which not coincidentally plays to IBM's strength as the top systems integrator and ensures that the company will have an opportunity to play in just about every major IT project undertaken by large global enterprises. According to Gartner, cloud technology is a $131 billion a year market and growing, and we can certainly expect that IBM to win more then it's share of this business going forward.

If you are interested in more detail on IBM's decision to choose OpenStack, here is IBM's press release on the subject. 

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