Following Whitehurst's investment advice means looking for companies adding value through information and open source code, and going beyond arguments over the nuts and bolts that companies like Microsoft (MSFT), Oracle (ORCL) and even Red Hat offer to the innovations emerging from using the tools.
Whitehurst was followed by Robert LeBlanc, senior vice president of the International Business Machines (IBM - Get Report) software group, who said his company's latest survey of CIOs shows analytics and mobility are now the main focus, and that computer security has become a boardroom issue.
Linux is the key to solving the problems because it's open to everyone. "It's a meritocracy," he said. "Only those who bring value get their code accepted."LeBlanc, who spoke almost as long as Whitehurst, if not as elegantly, also illustrated a key point by his presence. Red Hat is a small fish in its own pond. IBM remains computing's key holding. This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.