Update – BusinessWeek has an article on Open Source that discusses the application of Open Source vs. the database Vendors. It’s interesting to note that many companies are focused on using open source to save money, rather than finding news way to innovate.
Jan 30, 2006 – Software companies have a very difficult time becoming viable businesses… most of their product developments efforts are viewed as a “sunk cost” that only has value if the software is successful. We’ve seen the tremendous growth of Open Source software such as MySQL, JBoss, etc. (in fact, this Blog runs on Open Source software). The interesting trend is the move of major companies to provide versions of their intellectual property for free. Most recently, IBM has elected to offer a version of its flagship database management system, DB2, for free. This ZDNet article does a nice job of explaining the directions and limitations… I think we are going to continue to see a shake-out in the licensing models for software.