Two years ago something new and different began to happen: the number of open standards stories pulled in by the Google Alerts I use to source them began to plummet. Even more tellingly, the number of open source stories mentioning open standards began to markedly increase. And also this: the number of launch announcements of new standards consortia dropped in rough proportion to the increasing number of stories reporting on the launch of new, significantly funded open source foundations.
Do you sense a pattern here?
Of course you do. And here’s what it means: The top IT companies are increasingly opting to use open source software to solve problems that they used to address with open standards. And where standards must still play a role, the same companies are deciding to develop the open source software first and the related standards later, rather than the traditional practice of doing it the other way around. The reasons are many and obvious: time to market is faster, interoperability is often more easily obtainable, development economies are dramatic, and the number of standards ultimately needed is far less.