Separate reports from The 451 Group and Evans Data this week confirm what seems obvious: open-source software is impacting commercial software companies and continues to gain adoption 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 now are looking to open source as a way to grow distribution, improve customer participation, and respond to competition.
The trend of proprietary vendors going "open" has had companies either shifting away from licensing fees as a basis for customer usage or releasing some code via an open-source license.
Open source is changing the relationship between software vendors and customers, The 451 Group said. Smaller vendors and startups can more effectively compete for enterprise customers by providing code and a community for ensured long-term viability.
Providing services is often considered the most likely path for software vendors to generate revenues from open source. But almost half of 31 vendors interacted with for the study indicated the greatest software revenue opportunity, in general, still was in commercial licensing.
Software licensing is not going away anytime soon, said Martin Schneider, a senior analyst at The 451 Group and a co-author of the report. "There's still a lot of opportunities for licenses," he said.
"[Software licensing] is the way of the world now and we don't see it changing soon," Schneider said.
In addition to selling support support services, offering commercially licensed versions of open source software is viewed as another way to generate revenues via open source, said Schneider.
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 percent of respondents said they are using open-source software, which is up from 59 percent six months ago.
The Eclipse open-source platform has had high adoption in countries like India and Brazil. Linux development has increased in many emerging markets as well.
While open source is growing in popularity in these markets, all is not lost for commercial software. Forty-seven percent of Indian developers expect to be upgrading to Windows Vista as a primary or secondary host operating system next year.
In the security area, 87 percent of Chinese respondents experienced at least one security breach at their company in 2006.