The Register - Open source: a savvy bet, even in tough times

in The Register

Open...and Shut Even as the economy slouches its way toward another bout of recession, the software industry has been in comparatively rude health. Earnings across the board have been impressive and, as a recent SIIA and OPEXEngine study (warning: PDF) shows, software companies are returning to robust profitability after years of red ink.

In other words, when the economy has boomed proprietary software companies have also boomed. When it went bust, so did they, to varying degrees.

Such a phenomenon stands in stark contrast to the commercial open-source world, which has managed a largely unreported continuity of vitality. Open-source companies like Alfresco - where I was vice president of business development before joining Canonical - Cloudera, MySQL, and others never hit the skids during the downturn, unlike their proprietary peers. Instead they grew gradually and continuously in the midst of tightened budgets.

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