Open Source as a Model for Business Is Elusive

Tuesday Dec 1st 2009 by Staff

European Commission reaction to Oracle’s acquisition of Sun Microsystems has stoked a tricky debate: Can open-source software live up to its populist traditions?

[From The New York Times]

SAN FRANCISCO — In many ways, MySQL embodies the ideals of the populist software movement known as open source, in which a program’s creator releases it to the world free of charge, and legions of volunteers contribute improvements that are also freely shared.

The start-up company came out of nowhere, building a database application beloved by vibrant, young Internet companies. Logging in from homes scattered around the globe, its workers seemed more a part of a virtual commune than a corporate monolith, and they relished taking on proprietary software giants like Microsoft.

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