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

See all articles by Martin Campbell-Kelly

Martin Campbell-Kelly

University of Warwick - Department of Computer Science

Daniel D. Garcia-Swartz

Charles River Associates - Chicago Office

Date Written: May 27, 2008

Abstract

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

Campbell-Kelly, Martin and Garcia-Swartz, Daniel D., The Move to the Middle: Convergence of the Open-Source and Proprietary Software Industries (May 27, 2008). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1137964 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1137964

Martin Campbell-Kelly (Contact Author)

University of Warwick - Department of Computer Science ( email )

Dept of Computer Science
Coventry CV4 7AL, CV4 7AL
United Kingdom

Daniel D. Garcia-Swartz

Charles River Associates - Chicago Office ( email )

1 S.Wacker Drive # 3400
Chicago, IL 60606
United States

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