The line between proprietary software and open source software is becoming increasingly blurred as open source software is embedded in broader proprietary hardware and software products and proprietary extensions are used to attract more customers....[T]he fact is, there are few vendors generating revenue from open source software that are following a pure open source approach when it comes to developing all of their code in the open and licensing all of their software under open source licenses.
Open source is more a business tactic than a business model, he said. The study analyzed the open source strategies of 114 companies, ranging from Red Hat to IBM and Oracle. Researchers looked at development model, vendor licensing strategy and primary revenue triggers for each company, Aslett said, and there are more than 80 combinations of those three things being employed today.
Key findings, according to Aslett, include: