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Thursday, February 16, 2006

Opensource Impact & Rollups

I wrote sometime back opensource is not yet ready for the enterprise and pointed out that I tend to take a dim view of open source relevance - see Open source -where is the business model, Opensource : Costly & Litigatious and also covered Kim Polese view business models of the open source support companies – where the contours of what need to be done to support open source components become quite clear and a not seeing several players in the opensource world thinking along these lines – it would be a major impediment to consider adoption of opensource in enterprises if the support model is not made widely available and the economics and technology upgrade rate demonstrated as beneficial.

Nicholas Carr captures it the best : He sees the role of open source as:

• Dominant role at “component” level:
– Low cost
– Flexible
– Attractive to experts (who run central grids)
– Brands/marketing don’t matter much
• Uncertain role at “application” level
– User interfaces critical
– Idiot-proof
– Invisible code
– Brands/marketing do matter

I recently wrote welcoming oracle’s (planned) acquisition of opensource players. As Nick sees it, open source is now a pragmatic movement. The communities have left the commune and adds that the the success or failure of Oracle's open source strategy will therefore turn not on how it treats communities as communities but on how it treats communities as customers. If it positions its open-source offerings as loss leaders, using them as lures to lock up customers and then pick their pockets, it may end up discovering that corporate software users aren't as tractable as they once were. Clearly we shall see some more action centered on opensource - but would it become the dominat force - clearly no.

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