Open source draws losing hands

Summary:Every time I turn around these days it seems that some other product that can't make it in the proprietary world is going open source.That's the way of the world.

Every time I turn around these days it seems that some other product that can't make it in the proprietary world is going open source.

That's the way of the world. Give us your tired, your poor, your hungry programs yearning to breathe free. Linux lifts its lamp beside the golden door.

We have talked about some of those programs here, like Sybase. And this is a general, long term trend, as any user of Star Office will tell you.

But the embrace is slow. Those wide variations in "open source" contracting we spoke of may just represent stages for many proprietary software vendors, like the stages of grief, that must be passed on the way to truly Open Source applications.

Here's an example from today's news, Entellium. It's a CRM system, hence expensive. They're letting developers get their hands on its code. Those developers can then create Entellium applications the company will help sell.

It's not open source, although the story we've linked to calls it an "open source strategy." (The publisher of the story is not ZDNet, so its flaw is part of its charm as a link.)

My point is it's a stage, a stop along a long road that every share-losing application will pass through, hopefully on the way to truly Open Source. Those that fail to complete the journey, I predict, will simply die.

Topics: Open Source

About

Dana Blankenhorn has been a business journalist since 1978, and has covered technology since 1982. He launched the Interactive Age Daily, the first daily coverage of the Internet to launch with a magazine, in September 1994.

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