Is open source as we knew it gone? Bill Snyder suggests just that in his InfoWorld blog on Thursday. He points to a new study by veteran software analyst Dennis Byron, of Research 2.0. In his own blog post regarding the study, Byron says the proprietary software vs. open source software rivalry doesn't exist because, except for Microsoft, the big players in the software market began investing in open source years ago.
The leading software suppliers, with the exception of Microsoft, 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.
Further strengthening the argument, according to InfoWorld's Snyder, is the growing list of open source start-ups that have been "snapped up" by large proprietary companies. Specifically, he mentions Yahoo/Zimbra, Citrix/XenSource, and most recently, Sun/MySQL.
The days of "freewheeling open source" are all but gone, Snyder says. But it's not a bad thing, as far as he's concerned. He says:
[I]t's about time that the hardworking visionaries of the open source movement were rewarded with good jobs and high returns on their money and sweat.