Sunday, October 19, 2008

Fear what? The success of open source?

Mary Jo Foley's recent column "Open-source backers: Are you afraid?" gets it all wrong.
The suggestion that big companies pose a threat to open source misses the big picture, focusing instead on a worn-out generality that positions Microsoft Corp.'s competitors against the open-source movement in a way Bill Gates himself would envy.

Big companies such as IBM and Hewlett-Packard have a very simple business motivation for backing open-source software: lower total cost of ownership for their hardware platforms.

Each of these companies makes its living selling hardware. Inexpensive, high-quality software increases their value proposition. And, of course, a Linux/Intel combo undoubtedly represents a very reasonable license structure compared with their NT/Intel offerings. It really is that simple.

Let's get real about what IBM is up to. Do you really think IBM is ballyhooing Linux and spending big-time bucks to "garner positive press?"

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