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Wireless Utopia

The journey towards a free wireless world.

OSS Cryastal Gazing

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Continuing on the previous post on Open Souce software, here's an article which delves deeper into the issue. Oracle sent ripples through the industry with its aquisition of Sleepycat Software and the jury is still out on its repurcussions. It presents an interesting counter point.

"Gartner predicts that by 2010, software vendors that don't incorporate open source software into their products risk becoming uncompetitive because of the cost associated with relying on in-house engineering resources"

Questions about the traditional model (Cathedral) of developing software are being raised here. That has been the revenue model for all the tradional software companies. The licensing of software is what generates the funding and the profits. But since the software is developed by a closed community, the richness which is provided by the Open Source model is missed. The future it seems would be combine the two.

"After all, altruism alone isn't going to sustain software developers who have to make a living, Snyder says. "The reality is that the two - commercial and open source - actually thrive better together than they do separately," he says."

If thats the way it goes then OSS sure has a bright future.
posted by Rajiv, 12:19 AM

2 Comments:

Rajiv,
Companies like Oracle, IBM now realize they cannot get growth unless the offer a combination of both. Oracle is not able to get the growth , so they had to go via the open source route to start behaving more like a solutions provider, who are in favor of open source. Besides, Open Source every now and then comes up with a truly disruptive product which can virtually kill growth for these biggies. One has to admire Microsoft , which is the only one , which figured out a way to have a strangle hold on its base and wade of the OS challenge till now.
Said Anonymous Venkatesh, 9:26 AM  

Venkatesh,

OSS software challenges the core beliefs of properitary ones. The heart of the debate lies in, how can you earn money if you provide your work for free. There have been several attempts at an answer, the service model, the premium package model, the packaging model. But none of them have been convincing.

Closed source software is profitable, sustainable and expensive. OSS is imaginative, free, adaptive. Combine both two and you see sense. You get the advantages of OSS and get the dollars as well. But the end product is an partly open, partly closed software, in the middle, going nowhere. But the biggest advantage of OSS, the developer community, the contributors, are lost. Embracing OSS for growth might not be such a bright idea after all then.

The corporates dont want to lose their cash cow. The OSS community dont want to lose thier freedom. Is there a possiblity of a middle ground here? We simply dont know.

And talking about MS, they are the ones who have been trying to stifle OSS development for a long time with disastarous results. It offers the exact opposite approach of OSS. MS did win the battle for the desktop PC, but will the win the war? Its yet to be seen.

My bets are on the chaos theory. Communism may be a failed experiment. But it might just succeed in a binary soceity.

Thanks for reading through.
Rajiv.
Said Anonymous Rajiv, 12:09 PM  

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