ZDNet: Open source’s quiet revenge

“Last week, I said I’d be discussing the business models used by
Linux distributors and vendors of other open source software. While
it’s still my intention to do so, I just couldn’t neglect a
fascinating tale that unfolded this week surrounding the Secure
Shell (SSH) Internet protocol and its related software.”

“While the search for truly workable open source business models
remains a challenge, the SSH experience offers a textbook case of a
business practice that, from what I can see, is doomed to fail. SSH
is a sort of secure Telnet-type connection running over an
encrypted channel and featuring full public-key-based
authentication. The first release was developed under an open
license and attracted a worldwide community of developers. SSH head
developer Tatu Ylonen submitted the underlying protocol as an
Internet standard.”

“Version one of SSH became quite a community project. Because of
U.S. government restrictions, it wasn’t adopted as quickly as
proponents would have liked. But for many security-conscious folk,
SSH became the replacement for Telnet and FTP.”


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