The Linux market presents some unique challenges to Independent Hardware Vendors (IHVs) in bringing their products to market with broad support available at the time of launch. Independent of ideological or pragmatic rationale, both Open Source and proprietary drivers are constrained by similar mechanics. This article provides a broad outline of the mechanics and considerations that are needed for delivering hardware support at-launch.
Appropriate support frameworks are considered by some to be one of the fundamental building blocks for widespread acceptance of Open Source Software in the wider corporate community. Provision of support for Open Source Software can be achieved in a sustainable manner by maintaining a strong focus on the Open Source Community and working with the Community.
There are a number of possible frameworks that implement support within an Open Source Environment, each with distinct benefits and drawbacks. In most cases all can provide suitable levels of support within their defined limitations. Examination is made of the current state of the Open Source support market, presenting a number of currently existing support providers.