The Move to the Middle: Convergence of the Open-Source and Proprietary Software Industries
39 Pages Posted: 27 May 2008 Last revised: 9 Dec 2014
Date Written: May 27, 2008
Open source and proprietary software firms are no longer polar opposites on the business landscape. In the decade in which open source software has become a practical alternative to proprietary products, there has been a so-called move to the middle. Proprietary firms have begun to embrace open source development methods and products, while open source firms have resorted to traditional methods of generating revenues from free software. Further, in many important areas the two classes of firm have learned to co-operate as well as compete with one another. This article describes the evolution of co-operation and competition between open source and proprietary software product firms, focusing on the operating system, middleware, and application layers of the software stack.
Keywords: open source software, software products industry
JEL Classification: L63, L86, L96
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation