Book: Open Sources - Voices from the Open Source Revolution
"Linux has succeeded because it was based on good design
principles and a good development model," Torvalds says.
And commercial ventures based on sales of open source software
and services will become successful provided they master the art
of brand management and market positioning as well, according to
Robert Young, head of Red Hat Software, which sells branded Linux
CDs for $50.
In 1997 and 1998, the Open Source model began to attract
attention from industry analysts, executives and investors who
wanted to seriously understand if there was a repeatable and
commercially viable methodology for computer companies. Open
Source is now viewed not just as a culture but a new economic
model, based on thinking beyond conventional norms of work and
For newly emerging markets, with the right software development
support roles, and framed using the appropriate software license,
the open source model is indeed a reliable model for conducting
software development for commercial purposes, according to Brian
Behlendorf, co-founder of the Apache Group. Apache is the open
source Web server that runs on 53 per cent of the Web servers on
the public Internet.
"There is a compelling argument for taking advantage of whatever
momentum an existing open-source package has in a category that
overlaps with your potential offering, by contributing your
additional code or enhancements to the project and then aiming
for a return in the form of higher-quality code overall,
marketing lead generation, or common platform establishment,"
Eric Raymond, as "software culture anthropologist" for the open
source movement, helped articulate the position that open source
software could be made freely available while also providing for
lucrative commercial revenue streams in non-standard ways.
As a consultant, Eric Raymond helped browser leader Netscape -
under a withering attack from Microsoft - develop a license to
give away their browser and server as free software in January
1998, an unprecedented move for a maker of proprietary software.
Raymond refers to this historic development as the "shot heard
around the world of the open-source revolution." Linux is now
receiving support from Corel, IBM, Intel, Oracle, and Informix,
and is capturing the ISP and business data center markets.
The open-source movement needs to evangelize its triumphs at the