There were many candidates for Story of the Year in Open Source, and they were nearly all good news stories.
Firefox rose and the threat of SCO eased. Insurance for open source risks became available, and a host of great new products were either launched or delivered.
But for me the big story was the success of companies like JBoss and Covalent in delivering compelling open source business models to the enterprise space. This is what made open source a real alternative for large enterprises. Their support-based business models for enterprise-scale applications gave large customers a comfort level they needed to support, not only JBoss and Apache, but other open source projects as well.
The growth of open source among large enterprises was a big deal, and it's going to be a bigger deal in the future. The companies which helped make that happen, and in the process became enterprises themselves, gave everyone in the movement a gift that will keep on giving.
After my luncheon with Marc Fleury of JBoss last summer, he gave me a t-shirt which I now prize. Its message sums up the story. It was a take-off on the silly teen movie Napoleon Dynamite. It said, "Vote for JBoss and all your dreams will come true."
Because open source is now a fixture in the enterprise, a lot of dreams are going to come true next year. I can't wait for 2006.