Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 28th Feb 2006 22:45 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems "BIOS giant Phoenix, the company responsible for the pieces of code saved on flash memory and which initialize our computers and interfaces to the hardware at the low level - even before the OS loads, is giving us plenty of reasons to support the case of an open source BIOS."
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Misunderstanding of Open Source
by asupcb on Wed 1st Mar 2006 03:32 UTC
asupcb
Member since:
2005-11-10

Many people seem to be unable to figure out how money is made off of open source and why it succeeds in general. It is really quite simple.
Open source is a way to combine R&D spending for certain products which companies desire to be available at a lower cost than what others are providing that product for. Such as at some point Linux will be powerful and full-featured enough that IBM will be able to eliminate AIX and switch from Windows to Linux on the desktop there by saving them R&D dollars, deployment costs within the company and providing a solid basis for more valuable non-commodity products such as software sold for vertical and specialized fields such as AutoCAD, medical software and etc.
Also Red Hat has proven that merely providing support can be very profitable for the millions who have no desire to get into the nitty gritty of applying patches manually, while also having someone to turn to if things go wrong.
Another reason that open-source succeeds is that if I'm good at writing network and TCP/IP code and you're good at writing memory management code and someone else we know is good at device driver code in general, and so and so on then we can combine our efforts and create something excellent.
Many compare open-source to communism or socialism which is foolish. These operate by having design by the one or the committee similar to how most proprietary software is produced. Open-source on the other hand is very much a product of the free market. Someone voluntary produces a product and then agrees to give it away in exchange for you testing it for free and in the case of the GPL they must then return any changes and modifications of the code to you. This is the "viral" aspect of the GPL which isn't viral at all and is merely an example of a contract or well written EULA at work.
Also many open-source products tend to be produced in a more decentralized manner than most proprietary software, although the project manager often decides the final pieces of code no one is forced to contribute unless paid to do so by voluntarily exchanging his services, programming, for money by his employer.
Also average wages in the technology sector have risen. The US Department of Labor Statistics reports that the average programmer in the US makes $75,000 a year. 6.4% higher than last year. Programmers are not making low wages as some on this board would have you believe. One of my friends who is graduating in May has a programming job in Central Arkansas and will be making $50,000 a year and he could probably make much more elsewhere but wants to stay close to home. Also $75,000 a year may be less than what programmers used to make on average but the late 1990ís were the result of an artificial bubble created due to too much capital (money and assets) being misdirected into the technology sector and therefore programmerís where in much higher demand and when the demand of a good rises, the supply of that good falls, and so the price for that good in this case, computer programming, increases due to more limited availability. Average wages then fell because that service became less needed so the demand fell but the supply kept increasing thereby creating lower wages for programmers. Its really just simple economics.

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