In the so-called battle between proprietary (also called closed-source) software companies and open source software (OSS) companies, there’s no competition. We don’t mean one set of companies is better than the other. We just mean that there is not two separate sets of companies arguing over the OSS idea.
The leading software suppliers, with the exception of Microsoft (MSFT), long ago bought into OSS terms and conditions and development techniques. IBM (IBM), Oracle (ORCL) and so forth have been big users of OSS for years as well as the main sponsors of efforts such as the Apache Software Foundation, the Linux Foundation, and so forth providing both hard cash and in-kind contributions. Now the leading software suppliers are reaping the rewards in revenue. Microsoft got on board in 2007, has already had two of its licenses approved by the Open Source Initiative and even is cooperating with the Samba project (albeit through some intriguing cut-out procedure that would take John le CarrÃ© to explain).
The “battle” between open and proprietary, which was pretty much contrived by a few bloggers for OSS-based startups in the first place, doesn’t exist.
Now we’ve put some hard numbers behind that opinion. For example, we estimate IBM realized as much OSS-centric revenue in 2007 as Red Hat (RHT). A report on our research has been released over at ebizq.net. Over at Infoworld, Bill Snyder gives the report a look from the OSS VC’s point of view, echoing an opinion we have noted here at Research 2.0 in the past, most recently around the first of the month.
The ebizQ article looks at the question â€œWho are leaders in OSS market penetration?â€ The answer, as one of the article’s headlines says: “The Money was Spent with IBM, Sun and Oracle as Well as Red Hat, Mozilla and mySQL.” More important, we find IT users just want “good software that doesnâ€™t break often. And when it does, they want a substantial company available to fix it.” The report, available for free download, also looks at how the idea of OSS market â€œleadershipâ€ should be calculated.
Now the blogosphere is going to have to find another controversy to obsess about.–Dennis Byron