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Open source invisible in corporate earnings

Open source is a massive trend in computing, but not in business strategy. Not yet, anyway.

Open source continues its march through enterprise computing, yet gets remarkably little attention in corporate earnings, a search of earnings transcripts from the last two quarters reveals.

Red Hat talks it up. So does Novell, though in very different ways. Even Google gives it a nod.

But for most of the rest of the technology industry--from Oracle to IBM to Tibco to EMC Documentum--open source may have its place in product plans, but not in corporate profit plans. A search for "Linux" reveals only marginally more references.

Mark Shuttleworth suggests that Oracle's acquisition of Sun means that open source is now front and center in technology strategy, and he may be right. But, if so, the industry has yet to acknowledge it.

We have not yet arrived at the point where open source is the common currency of corporate strategy within the technology sector. It's still a function of lower-level product strategy, and not the game changer it promises to be.

At least, that's how I read open source's virtual anonymity in corporate earnings calls. How do you interpret it?


Follow me on Twitter @mjasay.