Eweek has a self contradicting article here
. Which Jim Grizanzio has also blogged
The article starts with a nice heading.
The emergence of stacks of open-source infrastructure software will spawn new opportunities for companies to enter and succeed in the open-source space, according to a panel of experts at a recent conference
and goes on to give examples of this. It then makes the following comment about Open Source business models.
There are a few basic business models for open-source software. One is the dual-license model, where companies offer their ware for free under the GNU GPL (General Public License) and then charge a fee to customers who want a commercial license. Another model is the support model, where companies provide the software for free but charge for support. A third model is to offer a basic version of the software for free and then charge for an upgrade.
So far the article is making valid points, although nothing new really. But then makes the following statement.
I think Sun's in trouble. They have a very serious problem of a business model that can change, but when it does change it'll be hard for their shareholders. It's Intel economics. Sun has to become an Intel seller; they not only have to lose the Solaris and Sun hardware edge, but they have to compete with Dell [Inc.].
WOW. Ok less address some points here. First of all The business model Sun is using for Solaris is the very same model as is stated above. They provide the software (and very soon the source) for free and charge for support. So the article is first stating the valid Open Source business models but attacking Sun for using one of them! Secondly Sun already sells intel (and AMD) servers with Solaris or Linux. Maybe they should do a couple of minutes of fact checking before posting the article.
Now with respect to the last comment about dropping Solaris and SPARC hardware I would first like to quote the following.
Skok pointed to IBM as a major company that has harnessed open source to great benefit. "They've managed to capitalize on Linux. Their major competitor on hardware used to be Sun [Microsystems Inc.], but since Linux, IBM has been able to thrive and sell a bunch of services and hardware."
OK. First of all IBM has its own UNIX (AIX) and hardware (Power) which they are continuing to sell as well as offer a Linux alternative. Why does Sun need to drop Solaris and SPARC in order to be successful but IBM does not?
Dropping Solaris would be one of the WORST moves Sun could do. Solaris is the benchmark for Enterprise UNIX operating systems and it offers several features over both Linux and the other commercial UNIXs for this area.
Instead they are doing some of the BEST moves they could do. They are embracing AMD64 and x86 architectures and open sourcing Solaris to allow the "already existing" Solaris community to extend the current feature set and extend Solaris to other architectures.
There does not have to be only one open source operating system. In fact there are already MANY open source operating systems. Sun is providing another which offers many features that are not covered by the current operating systems. Choice is a good thing