The next Big Thing, or is it Web 2.0?

November 3rd, 2005

Open Source software has increasingly grown in popularity and dominance, challenging the likes of Microsoft, Oracle, and IBM. Both Industry and Academia have adopted Open Source Software like Linux, OpenBSD, Apache, MySQL and OpenOffice to replace or supplant commercial versions of Windows XP, Websphere, Oracle, DB2, and MS Office. This dominance will be seen to continue to grow in the coming years.

Giants like Google, Amazon, eTrade, and eBay use Open Source Software to run their web businesses/services. The tradeoff to paying royalties or license fees, is the availability of source code, which is closely scrutinized or safety tested, by these companies and then deployed. Thus, these companies no longer depend on licensed proprietary solutions.

Google Ads and the roaring profits made by Google in its last quarter have led to Google stocks jumping by around 50 dollars in less than a month. Online targeted advertising has been seen to be more effective and more companies are now investing in online advertising like Google Ads.

Open source software projects and their “profitability” have often been questioned and even dismissed as a fools errand. However now bighshots like Microsoft, IBM and Oracle amongst others seem to have formulated strategies to cope with Open Source. Venture captitalists have been pouring money into Open Source Projects — a sign that this is seen as next big thing. Companies dismissing Open Source or failing to adapt to it, risk losing their user base and affecting their longterm survivability.

Microsoft: Shared Source, Windows Live, Office Live

IBM: Open Source Acquisitions, Adoption of Open Source (support model)

Oracle: Free version of the Oracle database

Everyone wants a piece of the online-advertising pie. With the increasing growth of high-speed internet, people are growing to expect free services on the Internet. The success of XBox-live is a sign of things to come.

The availalbility of cheap/free software replacements for most of the popular commercial products will see further decline in the revenue for commercial products.

Software Companies seem to be realizing that in the coming decade, online software services will be a major source of revenue — search, ads, trading, gaming, and so on. The “free” Internet Browsers will be the gateways to the online world, while the stored PC programs will see a declining role.