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Reflections on Open Source Commerce, Part 1

Yin and Yang Redux

  • May 14, 2008
  • By John Terpstra

It has been more than two years since the Yin and Yang article was published on LinuxPlanet, a long time in the information and communications technology world. The purpose of that article was to highlight the opportunity for greater entrepreneurial focus to gain broad, fast adoption of Linux and open source computing solutions. Absent significant market uptake on the personal computer (desktop and laptop) of Linux and/or open source products, goods, or services, those who measure market share will continue to ignore these as irrelevant to most users.

The process of gaining wide market share for Linux and open source solutions is challenging. The information technology (IT) market is littered with obstacles to success. Even well entrenched market leaders can be negatively impacted by these. The release of Microsoft Vista has shown that negative market forces can hold back even the heavy-weights of the IT game. A bad move, whether real or imagined can significantly alter the course of events. Bad press, or news of potential litigation can really place a damper on a product launch. Everyone who brings a product or service to market is subject to market forces that may exert a control that goes beyond that expected.

Much has changed in the IT world over the past two years. In this article we consider a few of the key developments over this period within the context of opportunity for getting the open source solution offering right to enable them to gain rapid market penetration. It is the author's hope that the statistics and opinions presented here will inspire you to help create the personal computing future that you would wish for.

In the spirit of open reflection, your criticism is not only welcome, but is actively sought. No one has all the answers, but by working together we can achieve more that the sum of single contributions. How do you think the future of Linux and open source will evolve? Will Microsoft be toppled from the average personal computer user's desktop? How? Who will make this happen?

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