Years ago I proclaimed open source would never be relevant in the application market. Now I work for an open-source applications company.
Lesson? It's generally not a good idea to underestimate open source's potency.
To wit, here are three "Who would have thought open source could do that?" announcements that recently hit my RSS reader:
- NovusEdge is demoing open-source energy management for "massive commercial buildings." OpenRemote does open-source home automation, but this suggests the idea can take on a different scale.
- Human resource professionals spend time and money tracking job applicants. Well, now they can save their money by using open-source applicant-tracking applications. People used to say open source could only commodify broad application markets. I don't think this qualifies....
- Or how about applying open-source principles to other markets? I'm an advisor to the Open Source Teaching Project, which lowers barriers to quality education by "open sourcing" course curricula and delivering it online.
- While not new, it's also impressive to see proprietary software vendors investing in open source. Five years ago, would you have expected Citrix to invest in open-source router company Vyatta's $10 million Series C round of financing? Yes, it's an attack on Cisco by Citrix, and so driven by healthy self-interest, as The VAR Guy writes, but that's the point: the world is discovering plenty of self-interest in open source.
I'm sure open source is not good for something. I'm equally sure that deficiency won't last. It never does.
What are some of the more interesting applications you've seen for open source?
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