Open-source evolves from 'nerdy' to notable

Last January, Host Europe, a company that runs the Web sites for 120,000 businesses in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, secured an unlikely supplier for the open-source software it uses to run almost all of its computer servers.

Host Europe bought the programs from Microsoft, the world's biggest software maker and, until recently, the most formidable opponent of open-source software, whose underlying code can be adjusted to the buyer's needs.

Last November, Microsoft began selling the rival Linux open-source operating system for servers alongside its Windows system in collaboration with Novell, the world's second-largest maker of Linux operating systems sold under the Suse Linux brand name.

Open-source evolves from 'nerdy' to notable.