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Asterisk celebrates a decade of open source VoIP

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From the 'Time Flies' files:

It doesn't seem all that long ago that I sat down with Asterisk creator Mark Spencer in Toronto, to talk about the Asterisk 1.0 release.

Asterisk is one of the most popular open source VoIP PBX applications out there and it is now celebrating its 10th anniversary.

So let's do the math on that one. Asterisk 1.0 (in my mind the first really usable very stable version of Asterisk) came out in September of 2004. So to me it's only just over five years.

Truth is Mark Spencer actually started the project in 1999 (he also by the way is the original creator of Gaim/Pidgin the popular open source IM client).

Asterisk has certainly grown over the year and particularly since 2004. The effort now has Digium as the lead commercial sponsor and is downloaded over 5,500 times every day, according to Digium.

Personally, I've written about nearly every major (and many minor) Asterisk releases since 2004 and have seen Spencer talk about it at the biggest Telecom and IT conferences in the U.S.  Asterisk is no longer a dorm room open source project.

One of the most surprising things that I ever heard Spencer say about Asterisk was in 2008 when he said that, "Asterisk is Boring." His point at the time was that the core IP PBX VoIP functionality was already in Asterisk and it just works. Where the interesting stuff comes in is how Asterisk is being used to help fued innovative new services and business models.

"When I put the Asterisk platform out there 10 years ago -- using the Linux operating system and my own PBX code -- I never imagined the profound impact that it would have," Mark Spencer said in a statement. "The strength of Asterisk is a reflection of the creativity and ingenuity of the community along with the value that Asterisk provides its users. It's been gratifying to be part of its impressive growth so far and we are excited to help it evolve in the future."

Congrats on 10 years of Asterisk, and good luck for the next 10!

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