Open source: look beyond Linux success and consider cost and complexity

Summary:Hype or not, Linux is on its way to succeed in the software market, but can the same be said of open source? It's too early to say.

Hype or not, Linux is on its way to succeed in the software market, but can the same be said of open source? It's too early to say. True, Linux is an open source product, but it has transcended that idea and now enjoys status as a respectable server platform supported by several major vendors. Tech analyst Robin Bloor says that open source can provide exceptional value and bring down software costs. But in thinking about open source, we should set aside the emphasis on Linux and consider the following issues:

  • Open Source quality is not guaranteed
  • There is no Standard Open Source License
  • Open Source Does Present Some Legal Risks
  • Legal Indemnification
  • Vendor Support
  • It's Only The License That is Free
  • The Talented Techie Factor
  • The "Compliance" Factor

According to Bloor, increased vendor support for open source products is the key to see its wider adoption. Once major vendors step forward to offer support for specific software stacks that integrate open source code, the problems listed above will be dealt with head-on, but not without a cost.

Topics: Open Source

About

Christopher Jablonski is a freelance technology writer. Previously, he held research analyst positions in the IT industry and was the manager of marketing editorial at CBS Interactive. He's been contributing to ZDNet since 2003. Christopher received a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Illinois at U... Full Bio

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