Socialtext is completing its transformation into a commercial open source company. At the O'Reilly Open Source Convention (OSCON) this morning, the company released Socialtext Open, an enterprise-class version of its software, under a standard open source license (Mozilla Public 1.1). As in most commercial open source software, there is a hold back--Socialtext Open doesn't include the closed source enterprise management and enterprise integration tools that are part of the Socialtext Enterprise appliance and hosted offerings. Pricing for Socialtext Enterprise starts at $11,500 per year for 500 users.
"Our goal of the Socialtext Open distribution was for it to be functionally equivalent for users," Socialtext CEO Ross Mayfield told me. "It is feature-equivalent to our hosted service, Socialtext Professional, which starts at $95 per month for 20 users, and Socialtext Personal, which is free for up to 5 users. In my opinion, a modern enterprise software business model will incorporate open, hosted and appliance distributions." Most enterprises are going to want the management and integration tools, as well as support and consulting services. Socialtext Open users have the options of getting support and consulting services from Socialtext for $240 per hour.