Monday, May 30, 2005

Software Commoditization .

Ive just read Ian Murdoch(from the Debian fame)'s blog about Open source and the commoditization of software and am intruiged by the parallels he draws up between hardware and software "openness" and the way standardization and market forces leads to commodity products.

From Sun, Apple, IBM, Dell, Microsoft and RedHat he illustrates the different choices these companies made between open and proprietary solutions, and the effect they have on their customers, and ultimately what effect it has on these companies.
"... commoditization does not equate to certain death to the established firms, if they have the vision to see beyond the disruptive events that may befall them in the short term and can adapt themselves to the new commodity environment."

It is interesting to note that all the companies above bar one have embraced OpenSource as they recognise the value they can derive from FOSS.
" ... commoditization is a natural, and unstoppable, force that is good for everyone involved"

My feel is that this article was good, but more could be said about how these companies reacted to the needs of customers wanting the choice. I also felt that he was really having a go at RedHat at their attempts to decommoditize Linux with their "loophole" license.
"... if Linux users wanted access to the applications and hardware certified to Red Hat’s platform, they had to run Enterprise Linux. To run Enterprise Linux, they had to acquire it from Red Hat via the new subscription model, which entailed signing a subscription agreement that forbade them from redistributing it."

A good read, thanks obiwan.

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