I go away for a few days and when I come back I find that everything has been turned on its head. IBM and SUN are the bad guys, they are exploiting open source projects and using them as cheap subcontractors of American multinationals, according to Jesus Villasante, the head of software technologies at the European Information Society and Media Directorate General. The controversial speech included other strange declarations, such as the statement that there is no European software industry, that open source is in disarray, and that software patents are bad.
I must admit that while I do not agree with some of the comments, there may be some room for concern over the corporate strategies of some open source-friendly companies. Companies like IBM are not supporting open source out of the kindness of their hearts, they are using OSS as part of a strategy to break Microsoft’s dominance over the software market. With stories about IBM’s economic problems, it would not be difficult to believe that IBM could eventually change their strategy and become opposed to open source.
Nevertheless, there is a feeling that open source is going mainstream. When the Financial Times has a comment stating that open source is good, and has business potential, it should be noted that the movement has finally matured and has left some of its “communist” image behind.