August 4 - A recent IDC study reveals that worldwide revenue from open source software will grow to reach $8.1 billion by 2013. Worldwide revenue from OSS in 2008 was $2.9 billion.

Open source
refers to software, tools and other applications that allow free and open access to the source code used to write the program. User communities usually support open source development; private companies that sell services to support open source code support other projects; and still other open source code is optimized, supported and distributed by vendors selling hardware that runs open source applications.

Factors that attract users to open source include lower costs and reduced times of development, and reduced dependency on vendor-specific technologies. According to IDC, the market for open source software has accelerated over the past year due to the impact of the current financial crisis and increased acceptance from enterprise software buyers.

“I’m bullish on open source. The economy and general perception of IT about the quality and usefulness of having an open source policy in their strategy all the way up the stack has changed and accelerated the last year. When I talk to CIOs, I get a lot more positive reaction in the last few years,” said Michael Fauscette, group vice president, Software Business Solutions, IDC.

Revenue from open source is an important but a small indicator of the commercial impact of open source. Large software vendors like IBM, Sun, Dell, HP, and Oracle are making significant amounts of indirect revenue from their activities with and support of open source. This has greatly aided mainstream adoption and acceptance.

The study released July 2009 from IDC is titled, “Worldwide Open Source Software 2009–2013 Forecast,” Doc #219260.


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