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When open source is no longer sexy

Remember when big names, specifically IBM and Oracle, once relentlessly hawked their unwavering support for open source?It was early in the millennium and the industry was abuzz about how this tech segment could potentially shake Microsoft's stranglehold in the software market.

Remember when big names, specifically IBM and Oracle, once relentlessly hawked their unwavering support for open source?

It was early in the millennium and the industry was abuzz about how this tech segment could potentially shake Microsoft's stranglehold in the software market.

It was cool, it was hip. It was flavor of the month. Almost every other player in the industry wanted to be associated with it, in one form or another.

Today, open source headlines have trickled to just a handful a month, compared to the old days when there would be one almost every other day of the week.

Most of the attention has shifted to other cool and hip flavors of the month and at present, that's mainly social media, cloud computing and more recently, 3D.

But, the seemingly diminishing public support from the likes of IBM and Oracle doesn't necessarily mean open source is no longer relevant to enterprises.

Rather, it could indicate that open source is no longer a novelty because it has finally gone mainstream and is not just a business option that should be implemented and managed only by hardcore techies.

In our special report on open source this week, we find out that this tech sector has been given a boost in the past couple of years by the economic crisis where companies looking for cost-cuttings measures ended up at the doorsteps of open source vendors, such as Red Hat.

Industry proponents also point to the growing interest in cloud, Web apps and mobile developments as key drivers that have helped pushed open source up into mainstream play.

So the open source camp should cheer instead when the big names that once publicly championed their cause are now missing from the limelight. Open source may no longer be sexy enough to garner vendor interest but that also probably means it has finally gone mainstream.