Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Predictions for 2010: #3 – Open Source Principles Become Mainstream

I can’t do a three-part blog series on 2010 predictions and not include one that attempts to illustrate the impact open source software will continue to have on the IT industry. Over the last decade, we witnessed its emergence and immediate mass adoption, substantially disrupting the economics of IT. Now what?

More surely in 2010, and then for years to come, we will see the principles of open source - transparency, community participation and collaboration - become entrenched in the mainstream tech sector. Beyond just the rhetoric of “community building”, the advantages of truly being part of a more vibrant, organic technology development and utilization process will prove far too important to all software and technology companies. The proven benefits will drive imitation.

So, embracing the principles of open source will become expected in 2010 – and appear in a number of forms. Watch for more open APIs from companies of every stripe in order to extend the reach of their products. Even these open source newbies will use community development models to prompt a collaborative dialog and gain much greater familiarity with those using and extending their software.

Finally and specifically, two major developments will unravel during 2010 that will illustrate the reach of open source principles: the rise of Android-based phones and Google Wave. I wrote about Google Wave in 2009 and stand by my praise. This open set of web services that can synthesize the variety of social and collaborative tools is a shining example of what openness can bring to bear. And, Android will genuinely give Apple’s closed iPhone and Research In Motion’s closed BlackBerry platform some real competition, driving volumes that will earn its place in the mobile device market and help drive the principles of open source into the mainstream at the same time.

I’m sure you have more examples for open source principles to impact the mainstream and I’d like to see your comments.

Brian Gentile
Chief Executive Officer

No comments:

Post a Comment