Tuesday, April 19, 2005


Good article by Sonia Arrison
at Tech Central Station on the Open Source Software movement:

Open Source, Mugged by Reality?

The Open Source Business Conference held this month in San Francisco was chock-full of information on how to make money using open source software. Once a bastion for socialist thinking, the open source (OS) community is finally coming of age.

Usually, Open Source Software (OSS) products are free of charge and many different individuals alter the code. For instance, the Firefox browser, which can be used instead of Microsoft's Internet Explorer, is an open source product. But while OS is open and available for all to see, there's money to be made through service and support packages, as well as through some OS licenses that allow complimentary propriety products to be created and sold.

With big tech companies like Sun Microsystems, Microsoft, Novell, Oracle, Intel, and Dell sponsoring the event, it was perhaps not surprising that the number of suited participants equaled or outnumbered those sporting jeans and tattoos. A movement that began with computer programmer Richard Stallman's ideology of socialized software is growing up and taking the competitive -- and profit enhancing -- advantages of OS seriously. Indeed, even Microsoft, long resistant to the idea of open source, dispatched a representative to outline the lessons that can be drawn from OS software. (full article)

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