A clean and clear explanation of why FOSS (free and open source software) works. Though Joel Spolsky already explained it back in 2002 that Sun wants to commoditize software to make more money on hardware.


The point being, Sun doesn’t have a single customer, worldwide, that will run an unsupported product in their datacenter. Do such customers exist? Surely. They’re called developers. Or startups. Or companies or economies that want to build their own internal support teams. That’s the target for the Solaris Enterprise System. That’s who uses free software without support contracts. And you’re not going to win them over if you don’t provide them with free and open source products. And if you don’t provide them with the technology to use, they’ll find someone else’s free products.

Opening up the Solaris Enterprise System, and giving it away for free, lowers the barrier to finding those opportunities. Free software creates volumes that lead the demand for deployments – which generate license and support revenues just as they did before the products were free. Free software grows revenue opportunities.

Because no Fortune 2000 customer on earth is going to run the heart of their enterprise with products that don’t have someone’s home number on the other end. And no developer or developing nation, presented with an equivalent or better free and open source product, is going to opt for a proprietary alternative.