The Future of Open Source: Another View


Yesterday I wrote about a survey that explored the motivations of those involved with one particular corner of open source. Here's another survey considering a rather different aspect:

The survey results, which include responses from OSBC attendees and customers of the companies represented on the panel, bring to light a variety of significant issues and topics surrounding open source, such as the current economic downturn, key market drivers, delivery/pricing models, and predictions regarding the types of companies that will drive the next wave of commercial open source success.

You can view the results online here, where there is also the following summary:

Approximately 81 percent of respondents feel the economy’s turbulence is “good” for open source software

Respondents revealed that the top three factors that make open source software attractive include: lower acquisition and maintenance costs; flexibility/access to libraries of community-developed code; and freedom from vendor lock-in

More than 55 percent of respondents believe that in five years 25-50 percent of purchased software will be open source vs. proprietary

The Web Publishing/Content Management market is expected to be most vulnerable to disruption by open source in the next five years

Respondents expect the Security Tools be least vulnerable to disruption by open source in the next five years

All of which sounds pretty reasonable, except perhaps the last: why should security tools be "least vulnerable"? In fact, there's a very strong tradition of open source security tools, so what do the respondents know that I don't?