The sunset of an idea is natural, and to be encouraged
Open source is not like that. What happens is that, over time, the need for support on a new package declines, and the revenues to be expected decline as well. As the operating system and basic applications become standardized, less support is needed. Sunset is finally achieved.
One point that bears repeating following our great discussion about proprietary business models the other day is the idea of sunsets.
The Founding Fathers knew that even the best ideas had a limited shelf life. The patent system gives protection only for a limited time, and only for the original idea. (Others can use your design to do something better.)
The copyright system was also designed to provide limited protection for a limited time.
The idea is that the incentives now called "intellectual property" are designed to be limited, in time and in scope, so as to encourage the production of more. It's an idea today's holders of copyright and patent rights conveniently ignore.
The usefulness of software ideas is also limited. Competition often brings better ideas. Over time, prices should go down for the basic stuff.
In the PC era, however, they did not. This was because Microsoft controlled the bottom of the stack. Microsoft could continue charging monopoly rents on basic ideas, could even devour the application niches above its software and claim monopoly rents there, because it controlled the bottom of the stack.
Open source is not like that. What happens is that, over time, the need for support on a new package declines, and the revenues to be expected decline as well. As the operating system and basic applications become standardized, less support is needed.
Sunset is finally achieved.
To compete against this model, proprietary vendors must constantly create new capabilities, valuable capabilities folks are willing to pay for, and that they will want support for. Otherwise they should expect prices to fall, and their revenues to fall. This is how open source vendors work.
I'm sorry if Microsoft, and its supporters, do not like that idea. But that's just business evolution in action. And after some decades in stasis, it's finally operating again.