If open source is future proof the test has begun

With open source a failed project can be picked up by someone else. When a project uses open standards, switching between a failed vendor and a more viable one is relatively painless.

This morning our fearless leader, Larry Dignan (all blessings be unto him) offered some space at Between the Lines to Chad Perrin, a security consultant and Web developer usually found at our TechRepublic site.

Perrin's conclusion? Open source is future proof.

During most recessions, Perrin writes, you will naturally turn to companies like Microsoft and Adobe, firms you know are stable and will be around when everything settles down. Go with the leader.

Open source changes the equation.

With open source a failed project can be picked up by someone else. When a project uses open standards, switching between a failed vendor and a more viable one is relatively painless.

I think even proprietary companies know this.

I once heard tell of one such company, a firm that would never, ever dream of using open source. Security, you know.

Anyway, they had a big project, and the vendor made big promises, so they signed a contract. Long story short, the vendor could not deliver.

So what was this company's goal in the subsequent negotiations? To get the code, and some people who knew the code. To open the source to itself, even though it would remain completely proprietary.

I've been saying this for 4 years now, and open source leaders have made a career out of saying things like this.

But now comes the market test.

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