Publications and Research

Document Type

Book Chapter or Section

Publication Date

2013

Abstract

This chapter discusses the authority structures found within the community support forums of open and closed source operating systems (Linux, Windows, and OS X), demonstrating how, because of these forums, technical expertise is shifting away from the organizations responsible for creating these systems and into the community using them. One might expect this kind of migration within Linux communities, where in theory anyone can contribute to the code of the project, but it is also being seen in closed source projects, where only certain people, usually employees, have access to the underlying code that controls the operating system. In these situations, expertise is becoming decentralized despite the fact that members of the support community sometimes lack access to the code behind these operating systems.

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