For reasons that I will blog about in a couple of weeks, several people last week asked me what I think about open core. My answer was that nowadays I don't care much about the topic. Long time readers of this blog might be surprised at such an answer, so I thought this was a good time to reflect on why I don't think it is very important anymore, and more importantly to document the empirical evindence that we now have about open core as a business strategy.
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I'm about to take a week off from my new gig as COO at Zendesk and it got me reflecting on the company and my decision to join. I stayed with MySQL through the Sun acquisition and left when Oracle acquired Sun. Although I have a lot of respect for Oracle, it seemed to me the only interesting jobs would be those that report directly to Larry Ellison. So I took some time off to travel, worked as an EIR at Scale Ventures for a few months and began thinking about what I wanted to do next.
I turned down offers from companies and investors to come in and "repeat the MySQL playbook" in Big Data or NoSQL or apps or whatever. I think Open Source can be a fantastic …[Read more]
In November a Mark Schonewille posted a blog on when you can't and cannot use the GPL version of MySQL together with your closed source application. The post was a result of actually talking to an Oracle lawyer which makes it valuable information. Unfortunately Mark's blog is now offline (it seems he didn't renew his domain registration?)
This is just a repost of the disappeared blog post. (The small print allows me to copy it verbatim.) There is no commentary from myself, except that what Mark wrote is the same I also heard Oracle say a year ago. That Oracle is being consistent on this point is very welcome and deserves to be kept available online.
Some time ago I was asked to do a study of our most popular open source projects to assess 1) what governance models are out there and 2) if the governance model has any effect on the project's success (such as size of developer community) on the one hand and on the other hand on the business of the related vendor(s). Some of the results are quite remarkable and have general applicability, so I wanted to share them here:
The 451 Group's annual report on the state of the open source business world is out. Already the title: Control and Community suggests they are once again on top of what has been going on this year. Analyzing about 300 open source related businesses they not only "get it right", but were actually able to uncover some facts even I was unaware of and this impressed me a lot. If an analyst can dig up statistics to back up something that I already "intuitively" know in my heart, that is a useful service. But if they can make me go "ah, I didn't know that" on a topic I consider myself quite an expert in, the I'm impressed!
This is an analyst report, available for a price that would be completely unreasonable for a private person. I was pondering whether I should go begging for a free copy to satisfy my curiosity on the topic. But that wasn't necessary, as the …[Read more]
Topics for this podcast:
*Our latest CAOS Special Report – Control and Community
*Red Hat releases RHEL 6
*Symbian and Oracle highlight community challenges
*The latest on government adoption of OSS from GOSCON
*Open core issue continues, now with Linux and evil twins
Or, how we evaluate a company’s open source-related business strategy.
Godwin’s law states: “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches”.
An online discussion about open source-related business strategies is no exception. However, long before the Nazi comparison it is inevitable that someone will ask “is MySQL open core?”.
I updated our 2009 post “what is open core, and what isn’t” recently, and received some criticism of my statement that the MySQL strategy was not open core.
Since we have recently published a report including the results of our …[Read more]
Links for today:
Andy Updegrove makes observations of the trend in hosting Open Source projects in non-profit foundations rather than one company, much boosted by Oracle's acquisition and abandonment of Sun's software assets.
Knowing that an organization is “safe” to join, and will be managed for the benefit of the many and not of the privileged few, is one of the key attributes and assurances of “openness.”[Read more]
This is an updated version of a post that was originally published in July 2009. It has been updated in response to ongoing confusion about open core licensing.
There remains considerable confusion about exactly what the open core licensing strategy is, however, which is strange since the term arrived fully packaged with a specific definition, courtesy of Andrew. Recently I have begun to wonder whether many of the people that use the term open core regularly have even read Andrew’s …[Read more]
It seems safe to say that Oracle is currently ahead of Microsoft when it comes to the company with the most contentious relationship with open source. To some extent that is due Oracle’s questionable approach to community, but it must also be noted that Microsoft has managed not to put its foot in it for a while.
In Microsoft 2009 published its first companywide perspective on open source, made its first contributions to the Linux kernel, and created the CodePlex Foundation, an independent entity designed to encourage its developers and other companies to contribute more to open source software projects.
Doubts have remained about Microsoft’s ongoing commitment, however, with the company being labeled opportunistic in its approach to open source, and skepticism persists – particularly in relation to software patents. We have recently published a new …[Read more]
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