"With the Sun Microsystem recent move to acquire MySQL AB, open
source business models will be a topic of much discussion again.
MySQL AB, like Red Hat, has always been one of the examples
everyone points to for how an open source business should be run.
One of the oft quoted statistics of the MySQL business is 'one
customer for every thousand users.' This number is then quickly put
into context as 'probably too big' because MySQL is available in so
many places that trying to count downloads and users becomes
impossible. When JBoss was acquired by Red Hat, the publicly
acknowledged conversion rates were 3% (JBoss) and 10% (Red Hat).
People start making assumptions about business models based on
driving downloads and user community size. And that's where the
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