Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 23rd Jul 2005 17:49 UTC
Oracle and SUN Sun Microsystems president and COO Jonathan Schwartz on Thursday cited the company's plans to eventually offer all of its software for free as a way to build communities around its technologies.
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Sceptical, But Good Moves
by segedunum on Sat 23rd Jul 2005 18:44 UTC
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Well, I'm sceptical because Sun always have a habit of cocking things up like this.

But, it's certainly good that they're thinking about new ways of doing things and how they might change. His analogies about other industries, and applying them to IT and software, are certainly interesting. They may or may not succeed, but it's nice to see that from an organisation because that's how you survive - by thinking about these things.

When you look at the examples of companies cited in the article, Microsoft, Oracle and SAP, it is certainly true that their revenue streams are not set in stone because, simply, nothing is happening with their products. It's simply money for old rope. Microsoft are more insulated than Oracle or SAP, and if I were either of those two I'd be pretty worried, but even Microsoft's revenue comes primarily from two sources - Windows and Office. Given that neither of these two pieces of software are going anywhere, the only thing you can do to keep the money coming in is to get people to see the need to upgrade or provide some worthwhile service. Since the former is obviously heavy going right now and Microsoft simply aren't set up as an organisation to do the latter, the next five to ten years could be quite interesting. Microsoft aren't going to disppear, but it will be fun to see them grapple with more realistic levels of revenue as the software industry matures more.

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