Earlier in the year I exchanged emails with Tim O'Reilly on the idea of business applications developed with open source and deployed through hosting service providers. Many incredibly successful companies were using open source stacks to deliver services over the web. Almost all were hosting the services themselves. Examples include free services like Google, Yahoo, and CNET. Others are charging subscription fees, like Employease and Weather Channel, or transaction fees, like Amazon, Etrade, PayPal, and Ticketmaster. All of these companies make extensive use of open source in their operations and some, like Amazon and Google, offer public access to part of their data through fledgling API's. O'Reilly has referred to it as a paradigm shift.
November 18, 2004