Open vs. Transparent: Did FOSS, Linux, and Open Source Get it Wrong?: Page 2

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I would argue that the problems that most CIOs were facing had nothing to do with whether the code was “Open” or not, it had to do with trust, and IT executives simply didn’t trust their vendors – and Microsoft was the poster child for this problem.

Open Source presented itself as an alternative and Microsoft became the target for much of the marketing and rhetoric that ran behind it. But, I think, the market is beginning to realize they’ve been had and that, in a number of ways things have actually gotten worse.

Open vs. Transparent and Customer Focused

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I think what the market wanted was for the vendors that served them to be candid about their offerings. In short, to not over promise, and stop doing things to them and start living up to what they promised and do things for them. What they largely got with “Open” was the right to do it themselves, yet they didn’t even want, with some already existing exceptions, to do it themselves.

What IT folks now appear to be realizing is that Open doesn’t mean transparent and that the folks like FOSS who promote Open have their own agendas which, while clearly different, isn’t any more customer focused than a proprietary vendor.

In effect, named vendors who are now “Open” are generally not any more transparent then they were when they weren’t open, and they are often very selective with what is actually “Open.” In the end, I think, IT buyers are now realizing that all they did is exchange one set of problems for a new set and that Linux, in particular, is kind of just like UNIX but with less support, less software cost, but more labor costs associated with it. And they now have to worry more about intellectual property and license proliferation than ever before. In other words, complexity actually got worse.

By the way, I should be clear, I’m not saying that Linux is going into decline, only that it appears the growth rate is dropping off. But I think this means that buyers are becoming more realistic in their expectations.

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