May 27, 2005

The Open Source Heretic

There are some really thought provoking comments in this article from Larry McVoy, founder and chief executive of BitMover (makers of the BitKeeper product up until recently used as the source code control system for the Linux Kernel).

"One problem with the services model [as the way to make money from open source] is that it is based on the idea that you are giving customers crap -- because if you give them software that works, what is the point of service?" McVoy says. "The other problem is that the services model doesn't generate enough revenue to support the creation of the next generation of innovative products. Red Hat has been around for a long time--for a decade now. Yet try to name one significant thing--one innovative product--that has come out of Red Hat."
McVoy says he believes the software industry will reach some kind of balance between open source and traditional software companies. Open source companies will make commodity knockoffs and eke out tiny profits, while traditional "closed source" companies will develop innovative products and earn fatter profits.

Read the whole article and make up your own mind which view of the world you believe.

Entry categories: Programming
Posted by Jorgen Thelin at May 27, 2005 07:12 AM - [PermaLink]