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ZDNet: Will Open Source Force a Sea Change in IT?

Mar 19, 2003, 17:00 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by David Berlind)

[ Thanks to Jason Greenwood for this link. ]

"Slowly but surely, open source is turning our industry on its ear. As a result of this trend, I've been wondering whether IT managers and solution providers have contingency plans for the very different future that could be in the cards.

"Over the last few years, open source--meaning the royalty-free deployment of commercially capable and modifiable source code--has been doing quite well against commercial alternatives. Combine the success of open source software with the current major architectural revolution--service oriented architectures (SOA)--and we may be headed into a world where the only things we pay for (and that solution providers can make money on) are hardware, outsourced services, and patents (via royalties).

"SOAs push all development up and away from the operating system and into the middleware layer. Given the increased focus on the two viable technologies for such a middleware layer--Sun's Java and Microsoft's .Net--the operating system itself is becoming increasingly irrelevant as a development platform. Not only that, but the playing field is slowly being leveled across the remaining differentiators such as reliability, performance, manageability, and security, to the point that operating systems could become little more than a commoditized kernel of low-level functionality..."

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