August 24, 2009, 8:37 am
As open source has become big to businesses, it has also become big business, with Gartner predicting that vendors will increasingly maintain the leading open-source projects. Vendors, and predominately "proprietary vendors," dominate open source today. Given this assimilation of open source into the proprietary software fabric, has open source won? Or lost?
In 2007 Tim O'Reilly predicted that "virtually every open-source company (including Red Hat) will eventually be acquired by a big proprietary software company." Red Hat still stands independent, though there is good reason to believe it could make an attractive target, but it increasingly stands alone as a pure-play open-source company.¬† It's likely to get even lonelier.¬† The 451 Group's Matt Aslett suggested 2009 was to be the year of open-source mergers and acquisitions. While that hasn't yet materialized, it's just a matter of time before the best open-source vendors are scooped up by proprietary vendors.