InfoWorld's Open Source Business Conference (OSBC) in San Francisco has released the results of the North Bridge Venture Partner's annual "Future of Open Source" survey. The results were discussed by a panel of top experts in the commercial open source industry, including executives from Acquia, Ingres, SugarCRM, Sun Microsystems and Ubuntu. The survey results include responses from OSBC attendees and customers of the companies represented on the panel and underline 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.
“The highly visible commercial success of open source has helped firmly place it on the map as one of the most influential market segments within the software industry,” said Michael Skok, General Partner at North Bridge Venture Partners. “Open source is drastically changing the current and future direction of the software industry and it is our goal with our Future of Open Source survey to identify key trends and to understand what the future might look like.”
Here are some key findings from the 2008 Future of Open Source survey:
* Around 81 percent of respondents feel the economy’s turbulence is “good” for open source software, which makes sense as more and more people will look toward the more affordable open source software as their pockets tighten from the economy.
* Respondents believe 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. Amen to that.
* More than 55 percent of respondents believe that in five years 25-50 percent of purchased software will be open source vs. proprietary, which is rather optimistic, but certainly not unforeseeable.
* The Web Publishing/Content Management market is expected to be most vulnerable to disruption by open source in the next five years. Just take a look at Joomla! and Drupal's prowess to support this view.
* Respondents expect the Security Tools be least vulnerable to disruption by open source in the next five years.
You can view the full survey results here.