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InfoWorld: IT manager's nightmare

Nov 05, 2001, 19:56 (11 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Russell C. Pavlicek)
"ON OCT. 19, a very simple e-mail announced the release of Version 1.0.5 of the Nautilus graphical shell and file manager. There were a few new features in the latest release, but nothing earth-shattering. In fact, the release was entirely unremarkable except for one small fact: Eazel, the company that created Nautilus, ceased operations more than three months prior to this release.

The Nautilus product was an open-source project created by Eazel. It brought the promise of a slick new interface for the Gnome desktop. But when the dot-com bubble burst last year, Eazel found itself in financial hot water. After battling to stay alive, Eazel succumbed to market conditions, and on May 15 it closed its doors for good.

If this were the world of closed-source software, this event would have been devastating to customers. Any customer who had employed this software would be scrambling to find a replacement. Plans and cost estimates would be hastily constructed to migrate to a different product. And then there would be the questions to be answered from senior management, "How could you let this happen to us? How could you let us rely on such a fragile company?""

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