I must have been under a rock, because I missed the news that Doug Cutting (of Lucene and Nutch fame) is now at Yahoo, and working on supporting Hadoop, which is “a software platform lets one easily write and run applications that process vast amounts of data.”
Tim covers this well, writing:
…why is Yahoo!’s involvement so important? First, it indicates a kind of competitive tipping point in Web 2.0, where a large company that is a strong #2 in a space (search) realizes that open source is a great competitive weapon against their dominant competitor. It’s very much the same reason why IBM got behind Eclipse, as a way of getting competitive advantage against Sun in the Java market. (If you thought they were doing it out of the goodness of their hearts rather than clear-sighted business logic, think again.) If Yahoo! is realizing that open source is an important part of their competitive strategy, you can be sure that other big Web 2.0 companies will follow.