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2011: The year open source (really) goes capitalist

Dec 27, 2010, 15:03 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Matt Asay)

"If 2010 was the year that taught open source "how to disappear completely," 2011 will be the year we're reminded that "anyone can play guitar"…or open source. At present, open source is de rigueur with the underdog class, those vendors seeking to challenge incumbents like Apple and Oracle.

"But open source will take center stage with industry leaders in 2011, as it already has in the mobile battlefield with Google's Android, much to Apple's chagrin. It's not just about using open source to gain market share. It's also a matter of using open source to keep regulators at bay. As Funambol CEO Fabrizio Capobianco rightly points out, open source saved mobile telecom operators from net neutrality regulations. The FCC decided that "meaningful recent moves toward openness" largely obviated the need for more regulation. That's a message that even the stodgiest of proprietary players will want to mimic.

"Open source, however, is more art than science. It's a non-trivial task to build and sustain communities, which is why in 2011 we'll see the pace of open source M&A increase. Who is likely to be bought?"

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