Like rock n' roll, open source here to stay
Open source software isn't a craze and won't be a short-lived fad in the corporate IT environment. More importantly, OSS isn't being put on the back burner by the corporate world. For every wait-and-see CIO, there are dozens who are eager to leverage the value of OSS in their organizations.
Many large and small companies -- from $2 billion Sabre Holdings to a small Alaska telephone company -- are putting production-ready open source products to work today and achieving significant return-on-investment and performance. We'll explore some of those projects in this story, as well as the ways that open source empowers IT organizations to make their businesses more productive and profitable.
Before drilling down, however, let's look at the big picture. Well, let's search for that big picture. There are no studies that clearly state or even make a reasonable estimate of open source software's market share in the corporate world. Quantifying the number of users of open source software has been difficult, because the software is largely acquired via free downloads.
There are about 100,000 open source products in development today. About 100 of these products are horizontal applications ready to be put into production by businesses now. Add to this dozens of open source vertical market applications that target smaller industries.