Click here to close now.

Welcome!

Open Source Authors: Pat Romanski, Carmen Gonzalez, Clinton Wolfe, Roger Strukhoff, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: AJAX & REA, Open Source

AJAX & REA: 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). Chris 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 Dyn, the worldwide leader in Internet Performance, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Dyn is a cloud-based Internet Performance company. Dyn helps companies monitor, control, and optimize online infrastructure for an exceptional end-user experience. Through a world-class network and unrivaled, objective intelligence into Internet conditions, Dyn ensures traffic gets delivered faster, safer, and more reliably than ever.
As organizations shift toward IT-as-a-service models, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and now cloud environments grows with it. CommVault can ensure protection &E-Discovery of your data – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud, or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enterprise. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Randy De Meno, Chief Technologist - Windows Products and Microsoft Partnerships, will discuss how to cut costs, scale easily, and unleash insight with CommVault Simpana software, the only si...
Even as cloud and managed services grow increasingly central to business strategy and performance, challenges remain. The biggest sticking point for companies seeking to capitalize on the cloud is data security. Keeping data safe is an issue in any computing environment, and it has been a focus since the earliest days of the cloud revolution. Understandably so: a lot can go wrong when you allow valuable information to live outside the firewall. Recent revelations about government snooping, along with a steady stream of well-publicized data breaches, only add to the uncertainty
Cloud data governance was previously an avoided function when cloud deployments were relatively small. With the rapid adoption in public cloud – both rogue and sanctioned, it’s not uncommon to find regulated data dumped into public cloud and unprotected. This is why enterprises and cloud providers alike need to embrace a cloud data governance function and map policies, processes and technology controls accordingly. In her session at 15th Cloud Expo, Evelyn de Souza, Data Privacy and Compliance Strategy Leader at Cisco Systems, will focus on how to set up a cloud data governance program and s...
Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, had reached 30,000 page views on his home page - http://RobertoMedrano.SYS-CON.com/ - on the SYS-CON family of online magazines, which includes Cloud Computing Journal, Internet of Things Journal, Big Data Journal, and SOA World Magazine. He is a recognized executive in the information technology fields of SOA, internet security, governance, and compliance. He has extensive experience with both start-ups and large companies, having been involved at the beginning of four IT industries: EDA, Open Systems, Computer Security and now SOA.
The Workspace-as-a-Service (WaaS) market will grow to $6.4B by 2018. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Seth Bostock, CEO of IndependenceIT, will begin by walking the audience through the evolution of Workspace as-a-Service, where it is now vs. where it going. To look beyond the desktop we must understand exactly what WaaS is, who the users are, and where it is going in the future. IT departments, ISVs and service providers must look to workflow and automation capabilities to adapt to growing demand and the rapidly changing workspace model.
The industrial software market has treated data with the mentality of “collect everything now, worry about how to use it later.” We now find ourselves buried in data, with the pervasive connectivity of the (Industrial) Internet of Things only piling on more numbers. There’s too much data and not enough information. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Bob Gates, Global Marketing Director, GE’s Intelligent Platforms business, to discuss how realizing the power of IoT, software developers are now focused on understanding how industrial data can create intelligence for industrial operations. Imagine ...
Hadoop as a Service (as offered by handful of niche vendors now) is a cloud computing solution that makes medium and large-scale data processing accessible, easy, fast and inexpensive. In his session at Big Data Expo, Kumar Ramamurthy, Vice President and Chief Technologist, EIM & Big Data, at Virtusa, will discuss how this is achieved by eliminating the operational challenges of running Hadoop, so one can focus on business growth. The fragmented Hadoop distribution world and various PaaS solutions that provide a Hadoop flavor either make choices for customers very flexible in the name of opti...
Operational Hadoop and the Lambda Architecture for Streaming Data Apache Hadoop is emerging as a distributed platform for handling large and fast incoming streams of data. Predictive maintenance, supply chain optimization, and Internet-of-Things analysis are examples where Hadoop provides the scalable storage, processing, and analytics platform to gain meaningful insights from granular data that is typically only valuable from a large-scale, aggregate view. One architecture useful for capturing and analyzing streaming data is the Lambda Architecture, representing a model of how to analyze rea...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Vitria Technology, Inc. will exhibit at SYS-CON’s @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Vitria will showcase the company’s new IoT Analytics Platform through live demonstrations at booth #330. Vitria’s IoT Analytics Platform, fully integrated and powered by an operational intelligence engine, enables customers to rapidly build and operationalize advanced analytics to deliver timely business outcomes for use cases across the industrial, enterprise, and consumer segments.
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to evolve the way the world does business; however, understanding how to apply it to your company can be a mystery. Most people struggle with understanding the potential business uses or tend to get caught up in the technology, resulting in solutions that fail to meet even minimum business goals. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO / President / Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., showed what is needed to leverage the IoT to transform your business. He discussed opportunities and challenges ahead for the IoT from a market and technical point of vie...
Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) are increasing at an unprecedented rate. The threat landscape of today is drastically different than just a few years ago. Attacks are much more organized and sophisticated. They are harder to detect and even harder to anticipate. In the foreseeable future it's going to get a whole lot harder. Everything you know today will change. Keeping up with this changing landscape is already a daunting task. Your organization needs to use the latest tools, methods and expertise to guard against those threats. But will that be enough? In the foreseeable future attacks w...
HP and Aruba Networks on Monday announced a definitive agreement for HP to acquire Aruba, a provider of next-generation network access solutions for the mobile enterprise, for $24.67 per share in cash. The equity value of the transaction is approximately $3.0 billion, and net of cash and debt approximately $2.7 billion. Both companies' boards of directors have approved the deal. "Enterprises are facing a mobile-first world and are looking for solutions that help them transition legacy investments to the new style of IT," said Meg Whitman, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of HP...
Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 16th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York June 9-11 will find fresh new content in a new track called PaaS | Containers & Microservices Containers are not being considered for the first time by the cloud community, but a current era of re-consideration has pushed them to the top of the cloud agenda. With the launch of Docker's initial release in March of 2013, interest was revved up several notches. Then late last...
Disruptive macro trends in technology are impacting and dramatically changing the "art of the possible" relative to supply chain management practices through the innovative use of IoT, cloud, machine learning and Big Data to enable connected ecosystems of engagement. Enterprise informatics can now move beyond point solutions that merely monitor the past and implement integrated enterprise fabrics that enable end-to-end supply chain visibility to improve customer service delivery and optimize supplier management. Learn about enterprise architecture strategies for designing connected systems tha...
The explosion of connected devices / sensors is creating an ever-expanding set of new and valuable data. In parallel the emerging capability of Big Data technologies to store, access, analyze, and react to this data is producing changes in business models under the umbrella of the Internet of Things (IoT). In particular within the Insurance industry, IoT appears positioned to enable deep changes by altering relationships between insurers, distributors, and the insured. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Sick, a Senior Manager and Big Data Architect within Ernst and Young's Financial Servi...
The explosion of connected devices / sensors is creating an ever-expanding set of new and valuable data. In parallel the emerging capability of Big Data technologies to store, access, analyze, and react to this data is producing changes in business models under the umbrella of the Internet of Things (IoT). In particular within the Insurance industry, IoT appears positioned to enable deep changes by altering relationships between insurers, distributors, and the insured. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Sick, a Senior Manager and Big Data Architect within Ernst and Young's Financial Servi...
PubNub on Monday has announced that it is partnering with IBM to bring its sophisticated real-time data streaming and messaging capabilities to Bluemix, IBM’s cloud development platform. “Today’s app and connected devices require an always-on connection, but building a secure, scalable solution from the ground up is time consuming, resource intensive, and error-prone,” said Todd Greene, CEO of PubNub. “PubNub enables web, mobile and IoT developers building apps on IBM Bluemix to quickly add scalable realtime functionality with minimal effort and cost.”
Sensor-enabled things are becoming more commonplace, precursors to a larger and more complex framework that most consider the ultimate promise of the IoT: things connecting, interacting, sharing, storing, and over time perhaps learning and predicting based on habits, behaviors, location, preferences, purchases and more. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tom Wesselman, Director of Communications Ecosystem Architecture at Plantronics, will examine the still nascent IoT as it is coalescing, including what it is today, what it might ultimately be, the role of wearable tech, and technology gaps stil...
In the consumer IoT, everything is new, and the IT world of bits and bytes holds sway. But industrial and commercial realms encompass operational technology (OT) that has been around for 25 or 50 years. This grittier, pre-IP, more hands-on world has much to gain from Industrial IoT (IIoT) applications and principles. But adding sensors and wireless connectivity won’t work in environments that demand unwavering reliability and performance. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ron Sege, CEO of Echelon, will discuss how as enterprise IT embraces other IoT-related technology trends, enterprises with i...