business. How can companies contribute to open source and see a financial return on the resources they invest?
Next week's Open Source Business Conference 2004, held in San Francisco, hopes to provide some answers. Open source companies and venture capitalists
are expected to discuss current and potential business models, the growth areas for open source, and what end-users need to make it commercially
viable for them to deploy open source products.
The timing is right. Venture capitalists are turning on the charm for open source companies, said conference co-founder Matt Asay, who is also
director of Novell's Linux Business Office.
"Some of it has a giddy, dot-com feel," he said. "Some of these companies don't deserve to be funded, but there are a lot of great companies that do
-- and great interest in them."