The open source software (OSS) blogosphere has taken its eye off attacking Microsoft for a few days to focus on a recent BusinessWeek article that predicted a 2007 initial public offering for MySQL. The significance according to OSS partisans is the way it indicates that OSS is taking over information technology to the exclusion of all other software development/business models and user choices. The significance to investors is that Red Hat (RHT), as the only significant pure play OSS provider that is already public, will act as a guidepost to establish MySQL’s valuations.Â OSS will probably suffer on both counts.
I leave discussions of the community aspect of this to my OSS product/market research on ebizq.net. But as for the investment research implications, don’t rush into secondary and tertiary rounds of venture funding just yet for every OSS "plan" that crosses your desk. A good business case is still more important than a buzzword such as OSS. And a good business case rests on the functionality that will be delivered, not the buzzword. Even the buzz won’t help assuming investors keep 1998-1999 in mind.
In my opinion, the investment opportunitiesâ€”and OSS’s futureâ€”lies on the application functionality side of the market, not the infrastructure side. I think the OSS operating system/middleware/database train has left the stationÂ The BusinessWeek article (as picked up in my link above by