Channel Insider content and product recommendations are editorially independent. We may make money when you click on links to our partners. Learn More.

Contributions
from wireless companies to the Linux operating system have increased
rapidly, underlining the success of the open source software platform in
smartphones, a report from the Linux Foundation said.

The report, to be unveiled
later on Wednesday, shows the role of traditional top contributors – Red
Hat, Novell and IBM — is slightly decreasing, while companies with a
strong mobile Linux focus are becoming increasingly important for the
development of the platform.

With
the success of Google’s free Linux-based Android platform, Linux has
become a key force in the smartphone software market. Google aims to
copy its success in desktop search to the fast-emerging mobile Internet
space.

All top smartphone makers, excluding Nokia and Apple, use Android in their flagship phones.

Earlier
this year Intel and Nokia, the world’s largest smartphone maker by
volumes, merged their mobile Linux versions into MeeGo, which has
reached consumers through one small tablet manufacturer. But the bigger
rollout from Nokia itself is expected next year.

Intel has passed Novell and IBM to become the second largest contributor to Linux, while Nokia has risen to the No. 5 spot.

Linux
is the most popular type of free, or so-called open source, computer
operating system which is available to the public to be used, revised
and shared.

The report showed that
more than 70 percent of contributions are from developers who are
getting paid for their Linux development from corporations who hope to
benefit from better software in their core business.

Linux
suppliers earn money selling improvements and technical services, and
Linux competes directly with Microsoft, which charges for its Windows
software and opposes freely sharing its code.