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Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Open Source - A Reality Check

I wrote a brief note on the relevance and future prospects of opensource for Sandhill. An outline of the brief perspective:
For business enterprises,lack of a definable business model to promote open source with revenue streams clearly identified will seal the debate squarely.With Wall Street sending a clear message to software companies that the measure of performance is profitability – the chances of sustained activity in support of open source providing consistent support and results over and over again looks highly improbable.For some the monopolistic domination of few commercial vendors may make the open source movement look desirable, fact remains that in the modern world, efficient use of capital,creativity and innovation are the key to sustained success – that is what commercial technology enterprises strive to accomplish. Interoperability is a more practical vision and the rise of standards and approaches towards movements like web services and SOA show us the right way forward. There is no real incentive for dominant players in operating systems, databases, network engineering to make their source open – what would they gain out of this? Tokenism may prevail – with less significant products getting released to open source community. Professional service firms and system integrators may make money out of services in such a scenario – this is theoretical as overdependence or overindulgence may take the sheen of open source ideals. It can be safely concluded that from a technology, economic and sociological perspective, there is no compelling reason for the open source model to succeed and become dominant. We can assume at best - a niche role for open source model in the IT industry.Please read the full article here.

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