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Analyst Admits Open Source Will Quietly Take Over

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the i'm-the-juggernaut dept.

Software 304

ZDOne writes "In a few years' time, almost all businesses will use open source, according to analyst Gartner — which has up to now been fairly cautious, or downright negative, in its previous predictions about community developed software. '"By 2012, more than 90 percent of enterprises will use open source in direct or embedded forms,' predicts a Gartner report, The State of Open Source 2008, which sees a 'stealth' impact for the technology in embedded form: "Users who reject open source for technical, legal or business reasons might find themselves unintentionally using open source despite their opposition.'"

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That's Positive? Positively clueless. (4, Insightful)

gnutoo (1154137) | more than 6 years ago | (#22970402)

"despite their objection"? who are these people who "object" to using free software and why? No one objects to email and the web, but they are largely run by free software, as is pointed out in the fine article by Taylor. This position and the way they take it for granted is baffling. Do the majority of people really care what business model their software is developed under? Are there really people who would pick up their pitchforks if confronted with Firefox? Do non free software companies really enjoy such mass support that people would never bother to look at options that could save them hundreds of dollars up front and all sorts of pain down the road?

"technical skill required to use it"? My two year old can click a mouse and my whole family uses GNU/Linux without missing a beat and has for years. Our TCO has been far lower thanks to free software - we use hardware much longer, don't have to pay hundreds of dollars for fundamental software like text editors and things just work.

Gartner people understand things are on the way but really the tone is hostile.

Re:That's Positive? Positively clueless. (4, Interesting)

Your.Master (1088569) | more than 6 years ago | (#22970442)

Wow. Twitter is actually making sense. Look out for pod people :).

I can see why they would avoid specific instances of open source for these reasons -- e.g. using source code from GPLv2 licenses. But I'm not aware of any good (or even reasonably bad) reason for any company to avoid open source as a whole, on principle. Not Apple, nor Microsoft, nor Exxon-Mobil, nor Wal-Mart. A sole proprietor might have some misconceptions about security or a "nothing good is free" (as in beer) attitude, but this is hardly an enterprise.

Re:That's Positive? Positively clueless. (0, Offtopic)

nschubach (922175) | more than 6 years ago | (#22970758)

A bit off topic, but why does everyone call gnutoo, Twitter?

Re:That's Positive? Positively clueless. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22970812)

Re:That's Positive? Positively clueless. (1, Offtopic)

nschubach (922175) | more than 6 years ago | (#22970842)

So there's more than one person in this world that dislikes Microsoft... this is news? I'm looking through the history here and it seems like twitter is a very adamant Microsoft hater. Maybe he has followers. Maybe there are more than a few people who agree. Is that hard to believe? I myself happen to dislike a lot of the moves they are making even today. So what?

Has Slashdot proven that these are both from the same IP? What makes you justified in comparing the two and spamming every post he/she/they make? What skin did he/she/they pull off your back? Is your life that meaningless that you have enough time to dedicate to this crusade?

I don't even know why I bother responding to an AC. How about logging in so we can have a meaningful conversation with your history and intentions known.

Re:That's Positive? Positively clueless. (1)

neomunk (913773) | more than 6 years ago | (#22970910)

Naw. I'm a twitter sympathizer, so to speak, but the accusations of multiple accounts have been proven to -my- satisfaction, and I'm highly skeptical about things like that. twitter himself outright admitted it (though I don't have a link handy to prove it) while lamenting his (semi-valid) reasons for taking on multiples. He's been mod-trolled to Hell and wanted to get out of a hole. He took it too far IMHO though.

Re:That's Positive? Positively clueless. (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 6 years ago | (#22970938)

I read one post in his history that could be construed as such, but you could also read it as sarcasm. Ugh, either way. I'm not sure why it matters to me either. I have just seen a brutal spam campaign the past few days on these account IDs.

For twitter, his alter egos and/or his followers... all I can recommend is if you are the same person, please stop. If you are not, spread out a bit. Something I learned from my multiple MMOs. Nobody likes an aggressive mob, but they hate a whole camp of them even more and will likely camp you. ;)

Re:That's Positive? Positively clueless. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22970922)

The AC you're responding is a Microsoft employee/evangelism team with several sockpuppet accounts.

Most commonly used are;

  • Macthorpe
  • renegadesx
  • dedazo
  • DAldredge
though there are others.

Re:That's Positive? Positively clueless. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22971140)

I work for Microsoft? Somebody tell Ballmer my check is late.

Re:That's Positive? Positively clueless. (1, Interesting)

neomunk (913773) | more than 6 years ago | (#22970900)

I've noticed that a few of twitter's alter egos DO, in fact, make sense.

Twitter man, listen. You could be a valuable member of the slashdot community (way more valuable than my in-and-out self) but give up the multiple personalities, and for all of our sakes, AT LEAST stop having full conversations with yourself. I believe in you and your ability to contribute. We all get hit with mod-trolls sometimes, just take the hit and move on. You'll get MY mod points for insightful, interesting or otherwise positive comments, so just be yourself and stop trying to game the system.

Re:That's Positive? Positively clueless. (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 6 years ago | (#22970914)

I agree, though... I don't see any proof that these are the same person. Hell, it could be four college roommates who all share the same mentality or a group of people that just click.

Outright calling them out without proof is like declaring your own "War on Terror" paramount to what our idiot politicians are doing grouping them into some kind of stereotype.

Re:That's Positive? Positively clueless. (1)

The Master Control P (655590) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971098)

I've been trying to write a coherent reply, but slashdot's new piece of shit comment system has lost the last three I wrote. The short, short version: twitter ~ Macthorpe ~ inTheLoo ~ gnutoo. 8/9 threads Macthorpe comments in, the others do. 8/13 for inTheLoo, 5/10 for gnutoo, 9/18 for twitter. Slashdot has half a million users and only a few hundred post in any given thread - this is extremely unlikely to be a chance occurence. Just throwing the data out there...

Re:That's Positive? Positively clueless. (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971024)

You'd be surprised how often you have the "free equals worthless" assumption in key decision positions. It is sometimes hard to get it into the skull of MBAs that this can work out. They are far too used to offers that are too good to be true, so their train of thought is: "Free, more stable, more secure? Ok, where's the catch? Because if it was, why would anyone still buy software that's less secure, less stable and has a price tag?"

Re:That's Positive? Positively clueless. (1, Interesting)

Iamthecheese (1264298) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971112)

While "free equally worthless" is a common fallacy, there are other reasons to want proprietary code. I, for one, want a company to be held responsible for bugs in the code I use. If there's a bug I want to be able to outsource the patch in the form of paying for it. Furthermore, Vista is as secure as Linux.

Re:That's Positive? Positively clueless. (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971180)

I, for one, want a company to be held responsible for bugs in the code I use.

The sound you hear in the background is laughter coming from the vicinity of Redmond. Our software caused your database to fall down and go poof, and with it your whole company because you couldn't fulfill your orders? Gee. Too bad. Responsible? Read the EULA, dunno who, but certainly not us.

Re:That's Positive? Positively clueless. (1, Interesting)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#22970514)

I'm in the middle of converting 3 people to Ubuntu from windows environments... they are having no problems adjusting at all LOLOLOLOL, once they got over the shock of having to ASK to install any software, they have been fine. I keep them locked down so they can't do any harm and always install anything they want if it is not malware. They just use it, don't care what it came from or the ideology behind it. They just want it to work like the games console, or the microwave. So far a small hiccup on the iPod and on a Canon camera.... other than that, no problems at all.

Re:That's Positive? Positively clueless. (2, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 6 years ago | (#22970980)

I'm planning on doing basically the same thing for my parents. My dad was quite upset with XP recently, he was upset by how slow and finicky it was. Sort of caught me by surprise. I'll probably put Ubuntu or possibly Debian on, assuming that Crossover office is going to do the trick.

Most users really don't care how the software is developed, as long as they can learn to use it and it does what they want.

Most people would rather pay for support if/when they need it and get the program, updates and patches free, than to pay for the software, then have to hope that the company is willing to support the program at that time.

Personally, I'm happy to pay for non-open software if it allows me to export the data into an open format, even if it's just a decent XML defined one. It doesn't matter much to me whether it's handled like moneydance or crossover office. Either way I can leave if I don't like the service with minimal headaches.

This is Gartner, they're ALWAYS clueless. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22970530)

Don't you remember the SCO saga? Gartner was among the clueless analysts in the media who paid more attention to press releases than facts.

I might want to hear this news. I might even agree with the prediction to some extent. For example, Microsoft won't just let it "take over", but they will lose much of their grip, especially if many people in government and industry transition to Linux instead of Vista.

But I'm not taking Gartner's word for it, nor do I think it proof of anything.

Re:That's Positive? Positively clueless. (2, Insightful)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 6 years ago | (#22970564)

Businesses certainly do see the value in having access to source code and being able to modify it to add necessary features or fix bugs quickly, but that interest does not extend to the sort of "everything is free to pass around like friendship bread" concept people have about free software. Most people simply don't care about the freedom to modify software and redistribute it for free, because most users can't even read code in the first place.

Re:That's Positive? Positively clueless. (2, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 6 years ago | (#22970888)

Most people simply don't care about the freedom to modify software and redistribute it for free, because most users can't even read code in the first place.
What's worse, is that many just don't understand that there IS such a thing as source code and that binary code CAN'T be modified. For the average clueless nut that I meet, if I tell them that "Linux is open and you can change the code, but Windows is closed source so you can't modify it.", then they go into a tirade about "Oh my little son Billy is 11 years old and is always changing around our little Internet. He's a genius with them. You must not be very good if you're can't change around stuff on Winders.". From there any hope at salvaging the argument is lost. It's just not going to work.

What I've found works best on such people, is not the open source angle. Sure that's great for us geeks, but the main thing I express to them is that Linux is free. Next time they wanna update? It'll be free. Unforunately this normally only works for people with older computers (and hence an older version of Windows), as those with new ones generally got a modern copy of Windows with the computer.

Every so often you get lucky with the "but there's no spyware" on Linux angle too.

Re:That's Positive? Positively clueless. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22971168)

For the average clueless nut that I meet, if I tell them that "Linux is open and you can change the code, but Windows is closed source so you can't modify it.", then they go into a tirade about "Oh my little son Billy is 11 years old and is always changing around our little Internet. He's a genius with them. You must not be very good if you're can't change around stuff on Winders.". From there any hope at salvaging the argument is lost. It's just not going to work.

"You can change many things, sure. But he can only change the things Microsoft lets you. With open source software, you can change anything you want."

For success: put the argument in their own terms.

sockpuppets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22970588)

You really shouldn't try to game [slashdot.org] the moderation system, twitter.

Re:sockpuppets (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22970708)

You anonymous trolls harassing twitter must work for Miscro$oft. It is the only rational explanation.

Re:That's Positive? Positively clueless. (3, Interesting)

MBC1977 (978793) | more than 6 years ago | (#22970734)

I don't think its that simple. As an experiment I wiped a spare machine of Windows 2000 (which my 10 year old daughter was so fond of) and installed a copy of Ubuntu 7.10 on it. After 1 month of struggling with learning the machine, she won't even touch that computer. I'm not downing the OS though, but my point is, I am willing to pay for software (and probably so is many others) that is easy to use. A lot of you may say that Windows sucks, and that may be true (Vista is defintely not winning brownie points with me entirely), but a lot of people find it simple to use. This is not to say Microsoft is the world's best software company, or anything close. But what Microsoft and other for profit companies do better than FOSS systems and software is provide easy user interfaces, which can be learned fast. Anyone who has used any version of Windows, can fairly (with a 2 - 6 hour learning curve) get up and running with little to no hiccups.

And while I'll tough it out (to my extreme dismay) and learn Linux and other free systems, truthfully, I just don't like them. Simply because most of the time they have a "programmer's" feel to them and not a "user's" feel. On a postiive note though, going back to the Ubuntu OS, I do see promise and potential, and I don't say that lightly.

Re:That's Positive? Positively clueless. (1)

DMalic (1118167) | more than 6 years ago | (#22970822)

And while I'll tough it out (to my extreme dismay) and learn Linux and other free systems, truthfully, I just don't like them. Simply because most of the time they have a "programmer's" feel to them and not a "user's" feel. On a postiive note though, going back to the Ubuntu OS, I do see promise and potential, and I don't say that lightly.
That's really too bad. From my perspective, almost every failure of the open source world can be somehow traced to Microsoft (though my personal-responsibility outlook demands just as much blame on developers for not persevering).. But since I haven't published any code myself, I can't blame them. Really, though, I'd like to hear what you find so painful about the newest versions of Ubuntu. For me, search functions were always a problem (they would never work right).

Re:That's Positive? Positively clueless. (5, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971084)

I am fond of comparing Windows vs. Linux with the argument of VB vs. C in languages. In Windows, as well as in VB, you can quickly start getting stuff done. The learning curve is quite gentle, and you have quick success getting "something" up and running. And while the guy with Linux is still trying to get his networking up (or that C programmer tries to get that message loop sorted out), you're already surfing, playing and listening to music (or, in VB, you already have a nice looking interface that you patched together with a few easy mouseclicks).

After a while, though, it turns around. Frustration sets in, for the Windows user as well as for the VB programmer. A lot of the things you want to do simply don't work. Or are hard to pull off. You start to see the shortcomings in your OS (or language), you look over to the other guy and see how easily he can pull off what would be a major feat for you (try to do a full HD backup and compress it at the same time in Windows, something that's a very trivial matter with dd and bzip in Linux, or compare it to any kind of pointer operation in the programming analogy).

You start being pissed at your system (or language), you start envying the guy you belittled earlier for his choice of the "needlessly complex" tool. And generally, you'll be dissatisfied in the long run.

That's pretty much how I see it. Yes, the learning curve is still a bit more steep for Linux (although it has mellowed out a DAMN lot, especially with the advent of udev which makes the "now, which chipset do I have..." guessworking no longer the primary source of frustration during setup), but you'll be frustrated the first month of usage, then it's like floating on air. Not the other way 'round.

Re:That's Positive? Positively clueless. (1)

AJWM (19027) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971088)

Well, if we're going to throw anecdotal evidence around... ;-)

A few months ago I activated the Linux partion on each of my twin 9 year old boys' computers that I'd created when I set them up (older P-IIIs that had Windows on them), and set it up so they could dual-boot.

They love it -- they were already using Firefox and OpenOffice on the Windows side, so that's the same. They got addicted to some of the built in games (especially SuperTux). They'll occasionally boot up in Windows for one of their old "edutainment" games (I haven't bothered testing them under WINE) but generally they prefer Linux (w KDE), and they're pretty fearless about experimenting with it.

Certain Software Companies Would Disagree (3, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 6 years ago | (#22970736)

LOTS of people would object to "free" software, if it drove their business model into the ground!

Geez... are you the only one who has not heard Microsoft practically screaming in pain this last year?

Re:Certain Software Companies Would Disagree (2, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971096)

Geez... are you the only one who has not heard Microsoft practically screaming in pain this last year?

I got that sound on my MP3-player, it makes wonderful soothing background noise when I'm stressed out.

Re:That's Positive? Positively clueless. (3, Insightful)

gfogus (1087935) | more than 6 years ago | (#22970794)

I believe the author has some confusion about open source. Software development companies have positions on the openness of their own code. Most other companies just want software that works for a good price.

I suppose some software development companies "object" to open source code (especially to opening up their own code), because it threatens their business model.

On a side note, the nice thing about searching for "open source" applications as opposed to "freeware" applications, is that open source applications do not have trial periods. Try searching for "freeware tone generator" on Google and see how many trialwares there are. Now try searching sourcefoge for the same thing.

I hate trialware.

Re:That's Positive? Positively clueless. (1)

davolfman (1245316) | more than 6 years ago | (#22970848)

Well, some people are idiots. And idiots who shuffle money tend to get wined and dined by salespeople with good golf swings. What I find interesting about the article is the idea that bits of open source will become so commonplace, like bits of freeware and public domain, that it'll become part of the background mix of software. Sorta like how dosBox gets thrown in with re-released computer games these days, it's just that good that everybody uses it.

Re:That's Positive? Positively clueless. (0, Flamebait)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#22970930)

"my whole family uses GNU/Linux "

GNU/Linux? RMS is that you???

but seriously, what you are really saying there is your family doesn't use youtube,ipods and that your kids don't play any computer games.

Re:That's Positive? Positively clueless. (1)

MrAnnoyanceToYou (654053) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971060)

I run Ubuntu and can use YouTube, could load an iPod until the most recent gen, (f* you Crapple) and I thought the EXACT same thing about games. I thought I'd NEVER get addicted to something that would run on my crappy old Radeon. Then I ran into Battle for Wesnoth and Angry Drunken Dwarves. (and and and... There are some GREAT webgames out there now, and I must indeed again be game-abstinent)

So, um, Linux does my desktop, and the only thing I've ever compiled was the new version of BFW. Period. And I'm both lazy AND a complete noob to Linux.

Re:That's Positive? Positively clueless. (0)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971200)

last time i checked the linux version of flash sucked hard, and youtube was but a dream?

the key problem i'm getting at here is even after all the claims, the linux desktop is still yet to work properly with he most common functions users want.

Re:That's Positive? Positively clueless. (1)

wellingj (1030460) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971086)

1998 called and they want their troll back...

Re:That's Positive? Positively clueless. (1)

Facetious (710885) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971124)

My friend, you come off as really ignorant. I suggest you try a modern distribution before you spout such drivel. My kids don't have iPods, though they all have mp3 players (and my wife actually has an ogg/mp3 player) that are supported by my Linux machines just fine. They also play all kinds of games and watch youtube. They have done so for quite some time.

Re:That's Positive? Positively clueless. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22970952)

However, Gartner argues that at the operating-system level, Linux deployments are showing smaller benefits in total cost of ownership (TCO) as it is applied to more demanding projects, because of the technical skills required to use it

Gartner has reached a new high in sublime humor here. It appears they are advocating the continuation of unskilled people running the technical systems of your business. In their minds, it is obviously apparent that one does not need 'technical skills' to maintain web servers, mail systems, DBMS engines, or 'demanding projects'.

These two bit shilling trolls are toeing the MS line, advocating running your business on insecure systems, with little or no experience or 'technical skill', and the business world is buying it - proving that just because one has money does not make one intelligent.

And they seem to forget that due to the volume of insecure servers maintained by non technically skilled people already existing in the world, we are plagued by spam, identity theft, fraud, and bot nets whose sole purpose is to be used as a shakedown ( pay up or we'll shut your servers down ).

Not only are they seemingly ignorant of the problem, they are actively advocating not just continuing the problem, but making it more problematic due to the cluelessness of the people running the systems.

In the one single paragraph, they have explicitly shown the world the main difference between Linux and Windows - Linux Admins know what the fuck they're doing - Windows Admins don't need to.

Thank you Gartner for that brief, though unintended, piece of honesty.

Re:That's Positive? Positively clueless. (4, Interesting)

RulerOf (975607) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971252)

In the one single paragraph, they have explicitly shown the world the main difference between Linux and Windows - Linux Admins know what the fuck they're doing - Windows Admins don't need to.

I'm calling bullshit.

I am a user of Windows, OS X, and Linux. I make my living as a Windows admin--which I do *damn* well I might add--have found Xubuntu to be a great option for very low end machines (I converted my neighbor to Linux as a fun project) and find OS X to be my OS of choice on a laptop. I have experience working with each of the OS's, and have used both Windows and Ubuntu Server products and I can say, without a doubt, that your statement is not only elitist, but very, very stupid.

Tell me, oh mighty AC, why it is imperative that I know how to manually configure AD structure by hacking my way through a tool like ADSI Edit, when I can just use the standard Active Directory snap-ins?
Why should I, as a Windows Admin, have to know precisely how to edit various INI files and the system registry to change settings, when I can just click something in a GUI?
Why should I, as a Windows Admin, have to write an incredibly long and painfully meticulous netsh command to allow something past my firewall when I can just click my way to network settings?

I won't because I DON'T FUCKING HAVE TO!

Step back a second, and ask all of those questions with their Linux counterparts. The answer turns into "BECAUSE THERE IS NO OTHER RELIABLE AND UNIFORM WAY TO DO SO."

When it comes down to it, setting up a Linux server in a nice, secure fashion is a royal pain in the ass. You have to type MILES of command lines and edit scores of .conf files to accomplish the same best practices that takes a couple of clicks and 2 minutes on a Windows machine.

Furthermore, that lower learning curve to becoming a Windows admin has--you guessed it--created more Windows admins! If a Linux admin needs to worship at Torvalds' feet and perpetually keep an eye out for him on the street so he can give Torvalds the obligatory blowjob he deserves for creating such a wonderful kernel, that makes a good Linux admin harder to come by! Therefore, a competent Linux admin suddenly costs more money to hire because of his greater skill set and lower availability. If you can, however, hire a SINGLE Windows God in a medium to large business, who can delegate tasks to people who are lower on the food chain (like the ones who can click "Next..Next..Finish" but not use ADSI Edit), your maintenance costs go down...

Run a Linux server? No thank you. I'll take Windows---not because I'm an incompetent Network admin, but because I don't fucking hate myself.

Oh, that and Exchange.

Re:That's Positive? Positively clueless. (1)

Jules Labrie (756572) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971152)

Your remark makes only sense for certain kind of software, means non-critical software. Would you like the code driving the autopilot of the plane you're in to be open-source? Or the next nuclear plant control software? Software is not just innocent desktop widgets, it can be very important, and errors can cause death. In all these cases, people have very good reasons to object open source. But as software stacks are getting always bigger, it becomes difficulter to know where open source is. I really think Gartner is right. Of course, open source can be included in some critical dev processes too, but it doesn't happen in a day.

A good start (2, Interesting)

LaskoVortex (1153471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22970410)

It would be nice if some people who wrote some cool legacy programs released the source on those under an OSS license. I could think of half-a-dozen super cool ones in my field alone.

that would be nice (1)

twitter (104583) | more than 6 years ago | (#22970424)

but they had better hurry. There are very few tasks where there's already not a piece of software that does the same thing.

Re:that would be nice (3, Insightful)

Your.Master (1088569) | more than 6 years ago | (#22970486)

On the contrary, I think there is a vast field of tasks where there is currently no good solution, open source or proprietary.

The assertion that there's very few tasks left is equivalent to saying that progress has almost finished.

Of course, your point is well taken: useful things that are already written but are falling out of date will surely be re-implemented by somebody else, better, given time; and then the original source code won't be so useful.

Re:that would be nice (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 6 years ago | (#22970548)

It seems like most of the tasks so far undone involve improved integration, improved ease of use and wider use of things already being done.

Use != Take Over (3, Informative)

timeOday (582209) | more than 6 years ago | (#22970434)

Every enterprise "using" something just means it has over 0% penetration. Just because somebody in the company scripts in Perl (which is open source) doesn't mean it's taking over.

Re:Use != Take Over (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 6 years ago | (#22970586)

I think from the definition put forward, It may be that everyone is using open source to some extent. Even if you're using Windows, IIRC, there is some BSD code in there. A lot of home routers are based on some open source code. Having an account on a web service using LAMP components might count. I think Nokia is using a Linux-based OS, and Apple relies heavily on open source stuff.

Re:Use != Take Over (1)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 6 years ago | (#22970928)

Some? Quite a bit actually is from BSD.
Massive chunks in fact. ;)

Re:Use != Take Over (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971080)

Must be all the bad chunks.

Re:Use != Take Over (1)

Ark42 (522144) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971004)

I think from the definition put forward, It may be that everyone is using open source to some extent. Even if you're using Windows, IIRC, there is some BSD code in there. A lot of home routers are based on some open source code. Having an account on a web service using LAMP components might count. I think Nokia is using a Linux-based OS, and Apple relies heavily on open source stuff.
I think even my Samsung 46" LCD TV "runs" Linux. I only suspect that from flashing the firmware to enable 1:1 pixel mapping at 1080p through HDMI, but most people with such a TV simply wouldn't know they are "using" open source software to simply watch TV. I'd bet my Dish DVR runs some sort of Linux or BSD OS as well, but I haven't even checked into that.

Re:Use != Take Over (1)

Maestro485 (1166937) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971188)

Sometimes just over 0% penetration is all it takes.

Aerial drones will hunt California pot growers in (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22970454)

Aerial drones will hunt California pot growers in national forests [sacbee.com]


This is where your tax money is going, to fight the war against an evil plant known as marijuana, mark this offtopic and continue to live with your head in the sand.

Yes, because we're really rather frightening... (1)

weiquin (1238818) | more than 6 years ago | (#22970494)

Open source was created by humans. It evolved. It rebelled. There are many copies. And we have a plan.

So... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22970496)

...Does this mean 2012 will be the year of Linux on the desktop?

Analysis Schmanalysis (1)

line-bundle (235965) | more than 6 years ago | (#22970512)

Why should I believe them now?

Re:Analysis Schmanalysis (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971106)

Because they say what WE like to hear!

C'mon, statistics are only good when they tell you what supports your point of view, get with the times. Listening to both sides and making up your own mind is so retro.

So how does one make money in this market? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22970520)

If all or most software is going open-source, how does a software company make money?

Don't say services because services don't provide real cash flow. What I mean is enough cash flow for serious new projects and research. Service work has a relatively low profit margin because there is no way to "ramp up" as it were. You need people to do work and their time is limited. Once a piece of commercial software is developed it can continue to provide profit with only maintenance costs. Plus you can sell upgrades.

Services DO provide real cash flow (4, Insightful)

Skapare (16644) | more than 6 years ago | (#22970642)

Yes, services! Services really do provide real cash flow. In fact, business like service so much they often prefer to convert to that model when they can. Service is an incremental cash flow that keeps on coming. Selling software is a one time sale.

Sure, you can sell upgrades. But you can also sell maintenance, management, and consulting service. You can even sell installation service (unless you make software that installs itself).

The risk of service work is not this lack of ramp up that you claim. Instead, the real risk is a higher level of competition. That is, you'll have a lot of others who can provide the same kind of service, including support service for open source software. Another risk is that if you identify a need to make improvements, you won't invest money in that effort since you can't use it as market leverage. By contrast, a service can be to sell the work of customizing the software to meet individual client needs.

Re:Services DO provide real cash flow (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 6 years ago | (#22970810)

Not to mention, that once you have a stable working copy of something, you usually don't have to go out and rewrite the whole thing over again just to add a new feature. This reduces the cost to code the entire project since a lot of the grunt work is already done.

Open Source relies on the the "it just works" mentality in software. I know that sounds backwards with some people complaining about certain apps usability, but when you write a piece of software that does a job (and does it well) there's really no need to rewrite it.

You need a web server? Download ___ library, code in server, and compile. You want to add a wiggly window effect? Download ___ library, extend your class and compile. Open source thrives on simple, extensible object models.

Re:Services DO provide real cash flow (2, Interesting)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971228)

The risk of service work is not this lack of ramp up that you claim. Instead, the real risk is a higher level of competition. That is, you'll have a lot of others who can provide the same kind of service, including support service for open source software. Another risk is that if you identify a need to make improvements, you won't invest money in that effort since you can't use it as market leverage. By contrast, a service can be to sell the work of customizing the software to meet individual client needs.

Open source software (Linux, Apache, Postgres, Sendmail, etc) provides virtually unlimited opportunity for making money by providing service. It's all stable, reliable, secure and proven. It provides an EXCELLENT platform for providing services on. But if you think that providing Linux, Apache, Postgres, or Sendmail service is what you'd be selling, get ready to lose your shirt.

These softwares aren't particularly conducive to service in and of themselves, because they are free, and simply providing access to these toolkits is "commodity service". So get set for $6.95/month hosting, or maybe even free [987mb.com] . Whoopee! (not!)

To make money, you don't sell sendmail or apache service, you sell services with these as a platform. Find something that you can build with these powerful tools, and sell THAT.

Assume that you've identified a need to track tractor tire overhauls. You could put together a special tool for tracking tractor tire overhauls to farmers using PHP, Postgres, and a $500 Linux server. If you market it right, you could build a million dollar business.

In fields everywhere from brokering the exchange of liver and kidney transplants, tracking the average speed of cars on the highway, to delivering educational flash videos to pre-school children, you'll find an endless variety of services you can deliver very profitably using open source software as your base.

The cool part is that you'll be able to give back lots - anything that you do which isn't a "core competence" is appropriately handled by giving your work back to the community, so that it can be absorbed into the codebase and used forever thereafter.

It's a brave new world, one that the quick, nimble, and creative will excel in.

Re:So how does one make money in this market? (5, Insightful)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 6 years ago | (#22970744)

Don't say services because services don't provide real cash flow. What I mean is enough cash flow for serious new projects and research.

Yeah, these guys [ibm.com] don't have cash flow, serious projects or research.

Re:So how does one make money in this market? (1)

dvice_null (981029) | more than 6 years ago | (#22970826)

- You can sell open source software e.g. with a manual .
- You can make open source game, where only server fees are collected. Or you can sell the game with a paper manual and a nice box.
- You can sell tailored software, which is provided to the customer as open source, e.g. the customer pays only for the programming work. I used to do this in my previous job all the time, except the software was never open source. But it would have not make a difference to the company to sell it as open source.
- You can sell bug fixing/maintenance/tech support or feature adding services to existing code base.

- "Don't say services because services don't provide real cash flow." Google doesn't sell products, it sells services.

So software companies can make money. They just can't hold a weapon on your head and take all of your money. Basicly this means that people are probably more willing to buy more software and the quality of the software will increase, instead of everyone making their own version (Linux kernel vs. Unix-family).

Re:So how does one make money in this market? (1)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | more than 6 years ago | (#22970916)

Don't say services because services don't provide real cash flow.

You might want to tell IBM's management, as they think most of their revenue comes from services, much of it derived from open sourse related activities.

Re:So how does one make money in this market? (2, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971146)

Quite the opposite!

I switched long ago from the attempt to sell my software to handing it out to prospective customers and offering them a service deal on top of it. In short, it was maybe the best decision I made so far.

In my trade, i.e. computer security, trust plays an important role. So being able to hand over the source to the tools I offer is a big bonus, because few competitors do it. Being able to see the source (and compile it yourself if you are really paranoid) means, though, that you can 100% verify that there are no hidden tricks. It supports my image as being upright, honest and most of all trustworthy. Also, the mentality here dictates that when you get something for free, you at the very least have to listen to the person giving it to you, and people are generally very fond of getting gifts. Old habits can be something wonderful. :)

Now, few companies have the necessary manpower to actually use the tools sensibly. And that's where I can come to sell my service. And not only once, because security is not a product, it's a process. Keep repeating it to a customer and he will finally catch on, he will hire you and rehire you on a steady base. He will ask you to come in for another audit in half a year, and maybe even more often. As a "free" service, I leave the tool there (if wanted, usually it is), to monitor for "strange" activity, which in turn has created a few more contracts because nobody could interpret them sensibly, i.e. again they needed me to make sense of the readings.

In a nutshell, selling the product would have been a one time benefit. Yes, maybe a larger one than the relatively small prices I charge for the individual contracts. But it creates a steady base, and a much more personal one, too. Again, this may be a speciality of my country, but here it's important who you know, and who knows you. Especially when it comes to something as sensitive as security. Companies don't just open the yellow pages, the managers ask their friends where to turn to. When you sold a product, you're nobody. But if you have been there a few times, made contact with the people there and made a few presentations, you stick in his mind, and you're the "Mr. IT-Security" for him. And he will recommend you to the next company.

In short, that's something I could have never achived with a "simple" product. It is maybe different for some vanilla product like a text editor or some business tool, where you are not meant to become part of the entire solution (I mean, hell, what do you need the IT guy for anymore to use the text editor he wrote?), but it does work extremely well in my case.

Re:So how does one make money in this market? (1)

Anomolous Cowturd (190524) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971206)

Oooh, a low profit margin, worst thing in the world.

Hm (1)

aztektum (170569) | more than 6 years ago | (#22970536)

Given that the majority of the Internet is run on open-source today, I'd say this is a fairly accurate assessment.

Re:Hm (1)

Necrobruiser (611198) | more than 6 years ago | (#22970688)

I thought that the surprising part of the post was the word "quietly". I guess they never heard of /.

There's no advantage to propietary (5, Insightful)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 6 years ago | (#22970550)

MSFT was trying to sell litigation fear over Linux, all the while the BSA was handing out hundreds of thousands in fines. Maybe there's an IP risk for Linux but positively there's a risk of a BSA audit. I've never been in a Windows shop that would survive a 100% audit without finding something out of compliance. Even the Death Star security shops.

Product activation, DRM, dongles and a dozen other ways the proprietary model has shot themselves in the foot. If you need capacity on an open source platform, just stand it up. Fast and uncomplicated.

And the only machines I trust on the internet are my Linux boxes.

I'm starting my new businesses on Linux from the ground up. All the money I would have spent on software can now go to more productive expenses...like booze and strippers. Okay, that's not true but it's nice to have the option.

Unless they're deductible.

Re:There's no advantage to propietary (1)

gparent (1242548) | more than 6 years ago | (#22970616)

And the only machines I trust on the internet are my Linux boxes.

Paranoid much? Using Firefox with spybot, never detected anything, I'm running with no firewall and was never hacked. Linux might be safer but not trusting windows boxes to surf the web is taking it to a ridiculous level.

Re:There's no advantage to propietary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22970730)

and was never hacked ... that you noticed.

Since the advent of "broadband" in my country, I've yet to see a home windows box that didn't have something vaguely nasty on it - usually just aggressive spyware, but sometimes obviously 0wned. Outside a professionally sysadminned corporate environment, windows is just a total disaster compared to Linux or MacOSX. I usually see such home boxes after several months use, when they start "slowing down" and I get guilted into tech support, I guess out-of-box they _should_ only have typical vendor-supplied spyware at most...

These days, I just try to make sure the next computers people (a.k.a. freeloading relatives, and as I'm Irish, there's a lot of them...) leaning on me for tech support buy are macs (though I run linux myself, macosx provides exactly the cloying UI and to-me-obstructive-and-annoying handholding such casual computer users need).

Re:There's no advantage to propietary (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 6 years ago | (#22970768)

Paranoid much? Using Firefox with spybot, never detected anything, I'm running with no firewall and was never hacked.

How would you know?

Re:There's no advantage to propietary (2, Informative)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 6 years ago | (#22970652)

You would write off strippers and booze under the "Entertainment" portion of your taxes. Keep receipts =)

Re:There's no advantage to propietary (1)

cerberusss (660701) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971226)

I'm starting my new businesses on Linux from the ground up.

I've recently started my own business as well. It's all Linux of course, however, it's difficult to get it one hundred percent open source. Take for instance webbased software that I create. It has to look good on IE. That's one step down the dark, dark path.

Then imagine some people start working for you. You want to force them to use a Linux desktop? People are most productive with whatever they like to use -- so that's going to be a hassle as well. They may like Windows, or Mac. In short, I see that proprietary software is not something you can completely avoid.

Quietly? (2, Funny)

PPH (736903) | more than 6 years ago | (#22970566)

Is that the sound of chairs splintering I hear?

Re:Quietly? (1)

indiejade (850391) | more than 6 years ago | (#22970780)

First analysts laugh.  Analysts admit need to fight.  Next, analysts fight.  Then analysts admit need to laugh.

Economy puts Microsoft "consultants" out of business.  Heheh.  Now we win! 

Let's be honest. (2, Insightful)

Wordplay (54438) | more than 6 years ago | (#22970638)

We're talking about widespread usage of a very limited number of the total open source projects out there.

It's not like this means corporate America will fully embrace or even prefer open source products. It just means that LAMP solutions will be installed in nearly every company.

What is good about this is that it "pops" the bubble: open source software can successful. But I don't know that it says anything about whether it's an optimal solution for business. I think that's case-by-case.

I think what this is really proving is that there is a certain point at which a software product becomes a commodity. A word processor is a word processor, and for the most part, a browser is a browser. Certainly, a web server is a web server, and doesn't even differentiate on UI. Any changes to the basic template are going to be pretty incremental.

Open-source isn't exactly what you'd call the fastest or most direct method to produce a product. Nothing replaces real dedicated, paid resources. However, if it can create a usable product by the time the market turns largely into commodity, you're pretty much guaranteed adoption.

When they're all basically the same, free looks mighty good.

Re:Let's be honest. (1)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 6 years ago | (#22970942)

Very limited number of open source projects?

Go sign up for a shared hosting account if you dont already have one.
Then have fun counting the number of individual projects are involved with it.
It may take awhile so get a cup of coffee before hand. ;)

Re:Let's be honest. (1)

Wordplay (54438) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971262)

It's still a small percentage of all the ones that exist. And the ones in widespread use don't cover every core business software need.

My point there is really that for-pay software will still be dominant for some software types, some business software included. I wouldn't look towards businesses going 100% or even mostly% open-source anytime soon.

The news bias needs to change... (2, Interesting)

ko9 (946154) | more than 6 years ago | (#22970766)

What the Open Source community is really lacking at this point is news they do not want to hear. The news that filters through to /. is basically like the news as it ends up in China; passed through a dozen filters so that no one will find it disagreeable, and it will promote the glory of the republic. This is not a constructive way to deal with the world. Self-delusion leads to arrogance instead, where extra effort might be needed. I am not trying to be negative here in any way, I wish the Open Source community all the best, but I think it's time to be more open minded here and not just listen to news as we would like it to be, if Open Source is going to move forward. The reason for this comment is (besides numerous previous posts) the word "Admits" in the title of this article. If some analyst had predicted the victory of Closed Source, it would never have been labeled as such.. Please people, let's stay open minded so we can do what needs to be done, rather than celebrate while happily deluding ourselves.

Re:The news bias needs to change... (2, Insightful)

DMalic (1118167) | more than 6 years ago | (#22970832)

Much of the historical technically minded development community has predicted the ascendancy of open source software for some time now. Like most analysts, Gartner has not generally agreed. Now they appear to be changing their tune. I would expect a sardonic laugh from said community.

Re:The news bias needs to change... (1)

azgard (461476) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971224)

So either post a link or shut up. Just talking about "bias" doesn't help at all.

Bogus headline (1)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 6 years ago | (#22970786)

Using open source != open source taking over. You might have a piece of software or two that happen to be open source and work well. The rest may well be closed source. That's not open source taking over, that's open source being used for various purposes.

Re:Bogus headline (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 6 years ago | (#22970908)

Lets say you have this open source application. It's free, there are no costs associated to forced upgrades, and it sits on your machine and does what is intended.

Why would you need to look at anything else? Slowly, people will look at Open as a good thing. They will remember that ___ application is running on that machine over there and it's been reliable. That one application just changed their outlook. Now they consider it more and more. With more and more open source, comes different businesses and starts to chip away at the former closed source business model. Eventually, it won't be monetarily beneficial to try to get people on the upgrade treadmill. They will see that what they have works and is supported by those new businesses selling support.

Maybe I'm just being optimistic.

Re:Bogus headline (1)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 6 years ago | (#22970932)

And for certain things, that's fine, but open source isn't all good, and sometimes there are no suitable alternatives but closed source. I use some open source software, but most that I've tried is quirky, buggy, hard to use, and/or piss-poorly documented. Some things will catch on, others will remain for geeks by geeks.

Re:Bogus headline (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 6 years ago | (#22970960)

True, but isn't that the same for everything? Eventually, someone will get it right and it will stick (and I'm sure it will stay for a long time.)

Heck, even Microsoft runs its wireless on Linux (1)

melted (227442) | more than 6 years ago | (#22970828)

There was a story about a year and a half back about them switching to Aruba Networks wireless infrastructure. Guess what Aruba Networks routers and AP's run? That's right, Linux.

Re:Heck, even Microsoft runs its wireless on Linux (1)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 6 years ago | (#22970958)

Not to mention what their website uses.
Yep. Linux.

Well the Akamai portion of it.
It does most of the work anyway. :)

Re:Heck, even Microsoft runs its wireless on Linux (2, Informative)

t1n0m3n (966914) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971162)

The Aruba access points do not run linux. The Aruba mobility controllers do though.

I'm in your base...... (1)

tji (74570) | more than 6 years ago | (#22970854)

I've worked for several networking startups. Every one of which has used Linux as the OS for the device.

The large enterprise customers which bought it didn't need to be aware of the Linux under the hood. The management interface was a simplified CLI or Web-UI. But it was Linux.

In some companies, they asked us to not mention the Linux OS in the box, as that would create support problems for them. They just called it an embedded system, and it didn't raise alarms.

How can you "admit" a prediction? (4, Insightful)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | more than 6 years ago | (#22970860)

What's with "analyst admits"? Like he knows something?

How about an adjective like "thinks", "suspects", or "predicts".

Nobody is admitting anything here.

Complete report (3, Informative)

Selanit (192811) | more than 6 years ago | (#22970868)

The linked blog article is okay if you want a summary, but if you'd prefer, you can check out the complete document. Here's a PDF link to Gartner's full analysis: The State of Open Source 2008 [gartner.com] .

Re:Complete report (1)

Selanit (192811) | more than 6 years ago | (#22970882)

Nuts. Posted before reading the whole thing - that's got some analysis highlights in it, but mostly it's a list of larger reports you can purchase from Gartner if you want.

the ones objecting to FOSS (1)

alien9 (890794) | more than 6 years ago | (#22970876)

...in some very remote business partner's words... "who am I going to prosecute whenever things go wrong? How can you provide guarantee to reliability of postgresql dbms? Who are the hippies providing software fopr free?"...

Amazingly these people cope with poorly written and less supported software which is branded by well-suited companies that happily ignore them if things go wrong with no consequences.

Ignorance is bliss. Ignorance of one is others' bliss.

Gartner?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22970884)

Oh shit, if Gartner's saying it, it must be wrong! Dang, I really liked open source...

Gartner seems way behind the times on this one. (2, Informative)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 6 years ago | (#22970948)

I'm a consultant, so I tend to be exposed to a lot of different non-software companies in a given year. Which is to say, companies that use computers and software to solve the problems of their business and not as their primary product.

All of them are running Windows and Office on just about every machine they have.

However, most of them are also using at least one Open Source tool to fill some need. For many of them, that's something like Subversion running on a Windows server and Tortoise installs for the devs to go with it, but still, they're using it.

It's about time (1)

Whuffo (1043790) | more than 6 years ago | (#22970962)

After years of Microsoft and their "buddies" doing everything they can to perpetuate their monopoly the truth is finally breaking through. Linux and many other open source programs are starting to take their place.

We've got several years of Microsoft and their "friends" doing everything they can to prevent this from happening - or trying to make the change to open source look like something that Microsoft was planning or has a part in.

Ultimately, the market will sort this out and choose the software that serves the public interest to the most. Microsoft has a lot of work to do to even be a bit part in the future...

Incredibly bogus headline (3, Insightful)

wicka (985217) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971092)

"Analyst Admits Open Source Will Quietly Take Over"

No. That's not what he says. He says that in four years, 90% of business will use open-source directly or in embedded devices. So in four years, if 90% of business have one guy with an Android phone, he will be right.

I don't see why I even come to Slashdot anymore. I used to like it because it was less bullshit than Digg, but now it's the exact opposite. What the fuck are the editors doing these days? Every other article I read is a quote taken out of context to mean "OPEN-SOURCE WINS EPIC LULZ."

Reasons? (2, Insightful)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971134)

"Users who reject open source for technical, legal or business reasons might find themselves unintentionally using open source despite their opposition.'"
I just fail to understand the technical reason argument for not using Open Source. If an open source application alternative doesn't exist it's more of a practical reason than a technical.

As for legal and business reason - that will be a sure way to be left behind and get excessive costs mounting without any gain.

One problem for open source in the future will be patent trolls. Maybe it's time to go troll hunting and see if they have collected a stash of gold that can be put to better use.

I'm trying to get approval now for embedded Linux (2, Interesting)

The_Dougster (308194) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971302)

I slammed together a really quite sophisticated robotic scanner controller processing unit for my own company, which I will now shamelessly plug in case any of you need to get custom 20-ton steel castings, give us a call, heck you never know. WHEMCO [whemco.com]

My unit uses the V4L Linux kernel API to run a frame grabber unit. I don't know of any way to run it under Windows except writing some kind of customized TWAIN driver or somesuch bull that will never happen. My Linux system works *right now* and has been demonstrated to company executives who said things like "this is fucking amazing!"

I ordered some hardware to build the actual prototype, and IT has shut me down. They are whining about all kinds of things like "who is going to support it?"

Hey, when I welded together the robot arms, IT didn't ask me who would "support it." Why should it be any different with my brainbox unit. Face it, those guys will *NEVER* be able to write or understand anything like this. If the program has a cos() call in it, they are done.

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