Open Source: The Price of Freedom

By Brian P. Watson  |  Posted 05-14-2007 Print Email
Call it the democratization of software. But in this election contest, open-source operating systems come down to two leading candidates with similar platforms.

Open source thrives on technology managers' penchant for avoidance—that is, their desire to dodge software licensing fees and vendor lock-in. Until recently, only two companies had truly commercialized the software by providing enterprise-class support. But now some of the biggest names in technology are looking for a piece of the action, betting that vendor lock-in isn't as much of a draw as it might seem. Will Red Hat and Novell continue their dominance in the open-source operating system arena? Or will support providers like Hewlett-Packard and Oracle wrench market share from the longstanding leaders?

Story Guide: Lead Story: The Price of Freedom
Call it the democratization of software. But in this contest, open-source operating systems come down to two leading candidates with similar platforms.

Vendor Profiles

  • Novell: Sleeping With the Enemy?
  • Red Hat: Staying on Course

    Also:

    Project Pointers
    Before switching to an open-source platform, take it from the experts: Review your cost of ownership, recruit some talent in-house, and learn to crawl before you can walk.

    Sound Off:
    Are you more likely to consider a vendor like Hewlett-Packard or Oracle for open-source support, or an entrenched provider like Novell or Red Hat? Write to us at editors@baselinemag.com



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