Welcome!

Open Source Cloud Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Stackify Blog, Yeshim Deniz

Related Topics: Machine Learning , Open Source Cloud

Machine Learning : Article

Viewpoint: Time for Open Source Software Vendors to Think Beyond Free

Thinking that free is the only aspect of software that matters is "freetarded" - Microsoft is onto us

Of the many sins that Silicon Valley practices, none are more dangerous or prevalent than the sin of smugness. Savio Rodrigues had a good posting recently making the point that Microsoft is learning from and adapting to the open-source movement, while the open-source movement is so enamored with "free" that they are not paying enough attention to the total cost of ownership from a customer's perspective.

Let's be clear - the free part of open source is a great innovation and worthy of a few minutes of self-satisfaction. The aftermath of the Y2K bubble was the erection of enormous barriers around IT to prevent tem from trying anything new that would cost the company money.

Free provides a "frictionless" entry point for new technology products into the corporation after finance barred the door. Free also enables technology self-service across the corporation, making it possible for anyone with an internet connection and a geek gene to get as wired as they wanna be.

However, free is only worth so much. If it takes me 3 hours to get my "free" open source download working, it cost me however much I or my boss thinks my time is worth x 3 = not free. Similarly, even if an open source product (for example Dojo) is technically superior in every way to Silverlight, that superiority is of no practical value if it is easy to hire experienced Silverlight developers but next to impossible to find, let alone hire, Dojo developers.

Thinking that free is the only aspect of software that matters is freetarded. This is where Microsoft can beat the open source community in general, just as its .NET platform is beating J2EE.

Let me quote from the insanely great Fake Steve Jobs blog:

Red Hat, the single company freetards always point to when they want to prove that open source can make money, has turned inept, with nothing but bluster and bravado and a deluded belief that they're actually a thorn in Microsoft's paw. Bottom line: they're the new Borland. They're 15 years old and have been publicly traded since 1999 and last year they did all of $400 million a year in sales. Microsoft does more than $1 billion a week. That's right. Red Hat's entire fiscal year is a good three days for Microsoft.
Microsoft is onto us. Time for open source software vendors to think beyond free.

More Stories By Christopher Keene

Christopher Keene is Chairman and CEO of WaveMaker (formerly ActiveGrid). He was the founder, in 1991, of Persistence Software, a San Mateo, CA-based company that created a new approach for managing data in high-transaction banking and communications systems. Persistence Software investors included Cisco, Intel, Reuters and Sun Microsystems. The company went public in 1999 on the NASDAQ exchange and was sold in 2004 to Progress software.

After leaving Persistence Software in 2005, Chris spent a year in France as chairman of Reportive Software, a Paris-based maker of business-intelligence tools, and as an adjunct professor and entrepreneur-in-residence at INSEAD, a leading graduate business school.

Comments (5) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
Mark Murphy 04/21/08 04:45:57 PM EDT

"Savio Rodrigues had a good posting..."

If that was a "good posting", this comment might be worthy of a Pulitzer. Any article, blog posting, or whatever using the term "freetards" doesn't exactly give you much credibility. Morover, Mr. Rodrigues failed to provide any proof for his assertion that "the OSS movement has been prematurely readying Microsoft’s eulogy", among other curious unqualified statements.

"the open-source movement is so enamored with "free" that they are not paying enough attention to the total cost of ownership from a customer's perspective"

The "open-source movement" doesn't have customers, any more than a libertarian has customers, or a Catholic has customers. Open source is a development model (see http://www.opensource.org/), Free Software is a philosophy (http://www.fsf.org/about/what-is-free-software), and neither are a company.

If you want to cite how individual firms offering open source solutions are or are not paying attention to TCO, that's a fine comparison to make. But comparing the "open-source movement" to Microsoft makes no sense.

"If it takes me 3 hours to get my "free" open source download working, it cost me however much I or my boss thinks my time is worth x 3 = not free."

And if it takes you 8 hours to get the equivalent not-free product working, it cost you the price of the product plus 8 hours labor.

In other words, all products have TCO to consider, not just "free" ones. Once again, you need to compare like constructs -- pointing out that "free" software has non-zero TCO and ignoring the fact that non-free software also has non-zero TCO is poor journalism.

"that superiority is of no practical value if it is easy to hire experienced Silverlight developers but next to impossible to find, let alone hire, Dojo developers"

Again, though, this is not a free vs. non-free issue. Most commercial COBOL installations are not free, yet there may be more Dojo developers than COBOL developers available for hire. Any given technology may have more developers than some other technology. You have not demonstrated how this can be construed as being a free/not-free issue.

"Thinking that free is the only aspect of software that matters is freetarded."

There's that word again. Free Software is a philosophy; calling Free Software advocates "freetards" is a slur no different than the slurs for Jews used by people who don't agree with their philosophy. Please explain why your use of slurs makes your article a better piece of journalism.

"Time for open source software vendors to think beyond free."

You might consider, possibly, listing some vendors you believe are not thinking "beyond free", rather than simply setting up a straw man to back your slurs.

derk 04/19/08 09:53:37 PM EDT

You guys left out one major open source successful product - Apache web server, which is owning 55% to 75% of the market.

bumpy 04/19/08 10:31:25 AM EDT

Time for you to think beyond "free as in beer". Think about "free as in freedom". Software whose source code is secret is worthless to me.

lefty.crupps 03/16/08 03:00:10 PM EDT

Free Software has a more important version of Free than its cost -- it's the freedoms to use, modify, and distribute the software under the GPL. *That* is the importance of Free software (and the emphasis), not its cost.

A. Banerji 03/16/08 03:47:33 AM EDT

Is absolute figure (Redhat v Microsoft) the only determinant of success? A redhat may die tomorrow, M$ can also follow it's worthy predecessors of the 60s - ICL died ... were they dealing in freeware?

It's all about adaptive business model. If Google is still doing well today (with mostly freebies for the average user), it's got nothing to do with the meaningless free v patent controversy ... Google has got it right so far - tomorrow's another day.

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that N3N will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. N3N’s solutions increase the effectiveness of operations and control centers, increase the value of IoT investments, and facilitate real-time operational decision making. N3N enables operations teams with a four dimensional digital “big board” that consolidates real-time live video feeds alongside IoT sensor data a...
Mobile device usage has increased exponentially during the past several years, as consumers rely on handhelds for everything from news and weather to banking and purchases. What can we expect in the next few years? The way in which we interact with our devices will fundamentally change, as businesses leverage Artificial Intelligence. We already see this taking shape as businesses leverage AI for cost savings and customer responsiveness. This trend will continue, as AI is used for more sophistica...
Real IoT production deployments running at scale are collecting sensor data from hundreds / thousands / millions of devices. The goal is to take business-critical actions on the real-time data and find insights from stored datasets. In his session at @ThingsExpo, John Walicki, Watson IoT Developer Advocate at IBM Cloud, will provide a fast-paced developer journey that follows the IoT sensor data from generation, to edge gateway, to edge analytics, to encryption, to the IBM Bluemix cloud, to Wa...
What is the best strategy for selecting the right offshore company for your business? In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, will discuss the things to look for - positive and negative - in evaluating your options. He will also discuss how to maximize productivity with your offshore developers. Before you start your search, clearly understand your business needs and how that impacts software choices.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks, that helps your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. As a premier telecommunications provider, Massive Networks is headquartered out of Louisville, Colorado. With years of experience under their belt, their team of...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusic will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Fusic Co. provides mocks as virtual IoT devices. You can customize mocks, and get any amount of data at any time in your test. For more information, visit https://fusic.co.jp/english/.
SYS-CON Events announced today that MIRAI Inc. will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MIRAI Inc. are IT consultants from the public sector whose mission is to solve social issues by technology and innovation and to create a meaningful future for people.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Enroute Lab will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Enroute Lab is an industrial design, research and development company of unmanned robotic vehicle system. For more information, please visit http://elab.co.jp/.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Mobile Create USA will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Mobile Create USA Inc. is an MVNO-based business model that uses portable communication devices and cellular-based infrastructure in the development, sales, operation and mobile communications systems incorporating GPS capabi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interface Corporation will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Interface Corporation is a company developing, manufacturing and marketing high quality and wide variety of industrial computers and interface modules such as PCIs and PCI express. For more information, visit http://www.i...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Keisoku Research Consultant Co. will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Keisoku Research Consultant, Co. offers research and consulting in a wide range of civil engineering-related fields from information construction to preservation of cultural properties. For more information, vi...
There is huge complexity in implementing a successful digital business that requires efficient on-premise and cloud back-end infrastructure, IT and Internet of Things (IoT) data, analytics, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Digital Applications. In the data center alone, there are physical and virtual infrastructures, multiple operating systems, multiple applications and new and emerging business and technological paradigms such as cloud computing and XaaS. And then there are pe...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SIGMA Corporation will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. uLaser flow inspection device from the Japanese top share to Global Standard! Then, make the best use of data to flip to next page. For more information, visit http://www.sigma-k.co.jp/en/.
SYS-CON Events announced today that B2Cloud will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. B2Cloud specializes in IoT devices for preventive and predictive maintenance in any kind of equipment retrieving data like Energy consumption, working time, temperature, humidity, pressure, etc.
Agile has finally jumped the technology shark, expanding outside the software world. Enterprises are now increasingly adopting Agile practices across their organizations in order to successfully navigate the disruptive waters that threaten to drown them. In our quest for establishing change as a core competency in our organizations, this business-centric notion of Agile is an essential component of Agile Digital Transformation. In the years since the publication of the Agile Manifesto, the conn...
While some developers care passionately about how data centers and clouds are architected, for most, it is only the end result that matters. To the majority of companies, technology exists to solve a business problem, and only delivers value when it is solving that problem. 2017 brings the mainstream adoption of containers for production workloads. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ben McCormack, VP of Operations at Evernote, will discuss how data centers of the future will be managed, how th...
SYS-CON Events announced today that NetApp has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. NetApp is the data authority for hybrid cloud. NetApp provides a full range of hybrid cloud data services that simplify management of applications and data across cloud and on-premises environments to accelerate digital transformation. Together with their partners, NetApp em...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Nihon Micron will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Nihon Micron Co., Ltd. strives for technological innovation to establish high-density, high-precision processing technology for providing printed circuit board and metal mount RFID tags used for communication devices. For more inf...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Suzuki Inc. will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Suzuki Inc. is a semiconductor-related business, including sales of consuming parts, parts repair, and maintenance for semiconductor manufacturing machines, etc. It is also a health care business providing experimental research for...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ryobi Systems will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Ryobi Systems Co., Ltd., as an information service company, specialized in business support for local governments and medical industry. We are challenging to achive the precision farming with AI. For more information, visit http:...