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Thursday, June 02, 2005

Big IT firms & Open Source

Barry points to EU's viewpoint on the direction of opensource growth.Jesus Villasante, the head of software technologies at the EC's Information Society and Media Directorate General, said that big companies such as IBM, HP and Sun are just using the open-source community as subcontractors rather than encouraging the community to develop independent commercial products."IBM says to a customer, 'Do you want proprietary or open software?' Then (if they want open source) they say, 'OK, you want IBM open source.' It is (always) IBM or Sun or HP open source," asserted Villasante, speaking at a debate on open-source innovation at the Holland Open Software Conference in Amsterdam.

Villsante’s concerns on opensource:
- Companies are using the potential of communities as subcontractors-the open-source community today (is a) subcontractor of American multinationals, calling on the open-source community to develop more independence from these large companies.
- Open-source communities need to take themselves seriously and realize they have made a contribution to themselves and society. From the moment they realize they are part of the evolution of society and try to influence it, we will be moving in the right direction. Experts have previously argued that major corporations such as IBM have made a valuable contribution by supporting open-source software, as they have helped to persuade businesses and IT professionals that open-source software is a credible alternative to proprietary options.
- Open source is vital to the development of the European software industry, but its progress has been inhibited by pressure from intellectual-property lobbyists and the traditional software industry, and by the fragmentation of the open-source community.
- Open source is a complete mess - many people do lots of different things. There's total confusion today.
My Take:I think opensource requires lot of organisational support and hence we are seeing open source advocates leaning on the - naturally big companies use the opportutnity and want to occupy this space as well - this opens an interesting issue again - whats the business model for opensource- how would be this be a sustainable, dependable model for large enteprises criticaly dependent on IT. Putting an America Vs Europe spin makes just funny reading - nothing beyond - No one prevents the european majors form pushing their own flavour of opensource!

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"All views expressed are my personal views are not related in any way to my employer"