During his presentation, Schwartz touched on the theme of citizen participation in IT. "The big wave in the marketplace to me is citizens getting involved in technology, individuals getting involved in technology decisions," Schwartz said. The most popular products will be free, regardless of whether or not they are open source, he said.
Developers, Schwartz said, are increasingly moving to free products because they do not have to go through their procurement departments to get them.
Following Schwartz's presentation, Microsoft's Bill Hilf, director of the vendor's Platform Technology Strategy organization, focused on the concept of "coopetition," through which competitors can share a common business interest.
"It’s the idea of cooperating and competing often in the same breath with the same people," Hilf said.
Microsoft certainly has not been a major proponent of open source. But Hilf pointed out that Microsoft can benefit from it just the same. Open source companies JBoss and SugarCRM have partnered with Microsoft, as have more traditional vendors such as Sun and IBM, Hilf noted.
SugarCRM, for example, will offer a version of its CRM package on Windows via Microsoft's Shared Source license, which allows some access to source code.
Microsoft, however, is conscious that new business models in computing may not generate as much as older models, Hilf said. Product differentiation still is key and making money matters, he said.
"I don’t believe selling tech support phone calls is a model [that is] sustainable," said Hilf. "You must differentiate in your product to sustain growth."