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IT Manager's Journal: What is the True Value of Source Code?

Jul 15, 2004, 01:45 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Matt Asay)

"In my last article here on ITMJ, I challenged traditional notions of the importance of source code access in open source. Most point to source code availability as the premier benefit open source delivers, without offering any substantive reasons to support the claim. As I noted, while open access to source code may matter for some, its benefits pale in comparison to the benefits associated with open source distribution. In summary, open source business models yield dramatically lower sales, marketing, and product distribution costs, enabling upstart competitors to undercut established vendors on price while providing their customers Porsche technology at Pinto pricing.

"Open distribution, then, matters a great deal in fueling disruptive competitors. Open source? Not so much, at least at first glance..."

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Related Story:
IT Manager's Journal: Why Open Distribution is the Real Promise of Open Source(Jun 17, 2004)