Open source gathering steam around the world, says report

Uptake is pressuring proprietary software vendors, analyst firm claims

Separate reports from The 451 Group and Evans Data last week confirm what seems obvious: open-source software is impacting on commercial software companies and continuing to be adopted worldwide.

In a report entitled Going Open — Software Vendors in Transition, The 451 Group found that open-source software is increasingly placing pressure on business models of proprietary software vendors. These companies are now looking to open source as a way to grow distribution, improve customer participation and respond to competition.

The trend of proprietary vendors to go “open” has had companies either shifting away from licensing fees as a basis for customer usage or releasing some code via an open-source licence.

Open source is changing the relationship between software vendors and customers, The 451 Group says. Smaller vendors and startups can more effectively compete for enterprise customers by providing code and a community for ensured long-term viability.

While services are often considered the most likely path for software vendors looking to generate revenues from open source, almost half of 31 vendors interviewed for the study indicated the greatest revenue opportunity was in commercial licensing.

Meanwhile, Evans Data, in its just-released 2007 Emerging Markets Development Survey, found that developers worldwide are increasingly using open-source code.

In a survey covering developers in regions such as Brazil, Russia, Eastern Europe, India, and China, 69% of respondents say they are using open-source software, up from 59% six months ago.

The Eclipse open-source platform has enjoyed high adoption in countries such as India and Brazil. Linux development has increased in many emerging markets as well.

In the area of web development, 36% of developers in emerging markets are using AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML). The figure was 21% just six months ago.

While open source is growing in popularity in these markets, all is not lost for commercial software. Forty-seven per cent of Indian developers expect to be upgrading to Windows Vista as a primary or secondary host operating system next year.

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Tags open sourceSpecial ID451 Group

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