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How much ground Open Source would gain over Commercial Software (or however you name it) depends on the three-front battle: development, marketing/PR, and legislation

A strength of Open Source development is its by-the-users-for-the-users process. Many Open Source software is often developed by the users themselves. That advantage starts to evaporate when the software are more moving towards Consumer software than Developer software.

Consumer software requires much heavier marketing that most Open Source software cannot afford.

Once a while, by luck or by discipline, you could have some commercial firms eventually manage to copy the development process somewhat unique to Open Source.

As of now, Open Source cannot survive without private sector; it's not financial independent in anyway. Government fundings come directly and indirectly from companies too. If the current computer industry goes "obsolete," Open Source will go down with it, unless it comes up with a self-sustainable financial model.

Open Source still doesn't have enough "champions" among corporations to market it. It's purely non-technological issue. Just business, as well as cultural inertia. For one thing, it's hard to convince someone that he made a million dollar "mistake" on DB2 when MySQL could do just as well what he needed.

How important is marketing and PR? Look at Java. It has almost three times as many listings than Perl on Google; five times the shelf space in many bookstores.

On legal front, Open Source is kind of loosely protected under free speech. It certainly doesn't have enough powerful lobbyists. Most Open Source folks can't afford legal action that some corporations can. If Perl is poetry, legal document is assembly.

I would say Open Source is a mighty teenager with potential yet to be realized.


In reply to Re: How far Open Source has come... by chunlou
in thread How far Open Source has come... by tjh

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