What the XenSource acquisition says about proprietary software

The XenSource acquisition is a wake-up call to proprietary vendors that they can't rest on old laurels anymore.

In response to my post on the XenSource acquisition , a friend made this comment, which I think is dead-on:

What this also says is that it isn't about the revenue. It is about having new technology in the arsenal to go after older competitors that have not revamped their technology. The lack of investment in technology by both start-ups and the established players in the early part of the decade is now catching up with them by making them exposed to new, open source entrants that were able to survive in the shadows of the dinosaurs. There is sales capacity and existing brand equity that can take these technologies and the new business model and make more out of it quickly.

As his email came in, I was on the phone with the CTO of a multi-billion dollar enterprise. He was telling me how he gets no value out of the maintenance contracts from his biggest proprietary vendor, and so is swapping it out for open source. Other proprietary software is being replaced by open source and SaaS applications (he agrees that they're bosom buddies). He's voting with his substantial IT budget for value and innovation, not licenses.

Knock. Knock. Who's there? Open-source innovation. Open-source innovation who? Open-source innovation that you have woefully neglected for far too long.

But your time will come. The times, they are a'changin'.

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About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.

     

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