Creating Value with Open Source Products (part 2)

date:2006-08-31 18:15:17
category:Economics of Software

Here’s a novel point of view on open source software.

‘In fact, one of the things Google likes about open source software is that it facilitates secrecy. “If we had to go and buy software licenses, or code licenses, based on seats, people would absolutely know what the Google infrastructure looks like,” DiBona says. “The use of open source software, that’s one more way we can control our destiny.”’

Since Google is competing against Micro$oft, IBM, Sun, Oracle, and most other software vendors, this makes a lot of sense.

But, does it apply outside the software realm? I would think so. In particular, open source gives you considerably more control over your destiny than packaged software does.

The amazing amount of money poured into customizing a “packaged solution” always leaves me breathless. If the package required so much rework, why not get the an open-source product, and customize that?

Indeed, how can you call it a “package” or a “solution” if you have to customize it extensively?

In Andrew Conry-Murray’s piece, “Do Small Businesses Fear Open Source” lists a number of concerns, including support, skills, stability and the potential complexity of building a working architecture.

Interestingly, one obvious solution to most of the problems in the article isn’t mentioned at all. For some reason, no one associates their standard, in-house QA programs with open source software. I don’t understand the disconnect. In an otherwise outstanding article on the concerns and value of open source, QA was never mentioned once.

Perhaps I’m missing something, but wouldn’t you subject open source software to the same extensive functional, integration and performance testing you subject your in-house software?

Previous topic

It’s Strategic – but it’s not – but it was – now it’s a burden

Next topic

Google vs. the Herd

This Page