Tuesday, February 5, 2008

80% of commercial apps to use open source by 2012

A few days ago I posted about open source software gaining ground in mayor IB projects. Today I came across a post on arstechnica.com that reviews a research by Gartner claiming 80% of commercial apps will use open source by 2012. I have a better time estimate for this process to happen: 2008. Open source tools are so widespread in software companies that I even wonder who is developing without using any (my thoughts run to some obvious hits, like Linux and g++, to more infrastructures-oriented products such as Samba and MySQL).

The Gartner gurus comment:

By 2012, 80 per cent of all commercial software will include elements of open-source technology. Many open-source technologies are mature, stable and well supported. They provide significant opportunities for vendors and users to lower their total cost of ownership and increase returns on investment. Ignoring this will put companies at a serious competitive disadvantage. Embedded open source strategies will become the minimal level of investment that most large software vendors will find necessary to maintain competitive advantages during the next five years.

Thanks Gartner. The report goes on with a number of IT forecast which are quite fun to read. For example, they have a take on Apple doubling PC market share by 2011 and the number of 3-D printers growing 100-fold through 2011. What I found more interesting is their view about software distribution, which should move from a license-based model to a service subscription charge (SaaS), an approach apparently endorsed by Google and Amazon:

By 2012, at least one-third of business application software spending will be as service subscription instead of as product license. With software as service (SaaS), the user organisation pays for software services in proportion to use. This is fundamentally different from the fixed-price perpetual license of the traditional on-premises technology.

Link to the original Gartner post.

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