p2pnet.net News Feature:- If a commercial company decides to open source its code, does that mean it’s seeing the light – that it’s figured out that giving ultimately means receiving?
Nope, says Charles Fitzgerald, a general manager at Microsoft.
"When commercial software gets open-sourced, it is typically an admission of failure, an exit strategy or a sign that vendors are deluding themselves into thinking they can ‘make it up with volume’."
He’s quoted in a Forbes story here which kicks off with, "BEA Systems, Computer Associates and IBM all recently started releasing the source code, or underlying instructions, for some programs, which amounts to distributing those products free."
However, "These freebie programs don’t have a lot going for them in any case," says Forbes. "Computer Associates opened up its Ingres database program – which is 25 years old and has a 0.4% market share, according to market researcher IDC. IBM open-sourced a database called Cloudscape, which is even less popular."
The story concludes:
"Nobody is declaring victory for Microsoft in Web software, but it’s worth remembering that, in high tech, winners don’t have to share. While rivals resort to giving products away, Microsoft gets paid real money for its efforts."