Over on Interop Systems, Jeff Gould has posted a series about AMQP (Advanced Message Queuing Protocol) an open source protocol that takes the place of expensive apps like IBM MQ Series and Tibco Rendezvous.
It's still early days for AMQP with a small number of live implementations but the opportunity to displace the existing monopoly is huge. I've written in the past about howas one example.
You might be wondering - how can these guys get away with stonewalling on such a basic requirement as interoperability? The answer is simple. According to Gartner, IBM and Tibco between them control a whopping 93% of the MOM market, which the research firm estimates will be worth around $725 million this year. With a market share like that, IBM and Tibco can pretty much charge whatever they like (using IBM's arcane "processor value unit" pricing scheme, WebSphere MQ will cost you tens of thousands of dollars per processor).
In short, IBM and Tibco share a cozy and lucrative duopoly that no conventional challenger is likely to upset. Customers have little choice but to play ball with them, even when they thumb their noses at interoperability.