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CNET News: Companies Are Facing a Cannibalizing Dilemma

Feb 12, 2004, 15:30 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Martin LaMonica)

"Once every three months, Alan Nugent, chief technology officer of billion-dollar software company Novell, sits down with a small group of colleagues to decide what software the company will give away for free.

"For the most part, Novell still sells software the old-fashioned way, with a license to use applications written and controlled by Novell. But in the past year, the company has partially converted to the open-source software approach, with which anybody can download a program's source code and modify it.

"The result is a hybrid strategy that forces Novell to question whether its commercial products--even portions of its flagship NetWare line--have become commodities that can be easily replaced by open-source substitutes. And increasingly, the answer is yes..."

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