Superior model ? Hardly...
Posted May 24, 2007 17:34 UTC (Thu) by njs
In reply to: Superior model ? Hardly...
Parent article: A day at the Open Source Business Conference
Proprietary software does seem to be better are opening up markets, though -- look at, oh, say, video editing software right now. The commercial development houses looked around at the market and could see that consumer video was coming down the pike and going to be a big thing, so they invested the capital up-front to build video editing suites, and it's partly the existence of cheap and usable editing suites that's making it possible for ordinary people to start playing with video and grow the market.
Traditional FOSS development is not at all forward-looking (and it's even a point of pride, for good technical reasons, YAGNI and all that). It wasn't until lots of people had access to hardware and were playing around with it that the itch grew to create free editing software, and so now the free stuff is still way behind the proprietary stuff. It's not clear that the free stuff would exist at all without the proprietary stuff having enabled hardware sales and development.
No reason that commercial investment on speculative markets has equate to proprietary software, though -- they could just as well invest capital up-front in developing a GPLed hunk of software, make money on support, and then when the market picked up ride the influx up new developers right past their competitors. Until that happens, though, this is a particular niche situation where FOSS development has fewer than usual competitive advantages over proprietary stuff.
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