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ACM Queue: Commercializing Open Source Software

Sep 04, 2003, 11:30 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Michael J. Karels)

"The use of open source software has become increasingly popular in production environments, as well as in research and software development. One obvious attraction is the low cost of acquisition. Commercial software has a higher initial cost, though it usually has advantages such as support and training. A number of business models designed by users and vendors combine open source and commercial software; they use open source as much as possible, adding commercial software as needed. They may use open source software as a central component of a product or service, but use other components to add value, which can then induce customers to pay for the offering (obviously, it is hard to compete with free software on price).

"After a brief overview of the salient differences between open source and commercial software, this article will describe several basic business models in today's marketplace to highlight ways that value is added to open source software and services..."

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