Saturday, January 12, 2008

A Perfect Storm brewing in 2008?

I recently wrote about Software Darwinism -- why too much government control of the industry would backfire, and how OSS made for a much more (pardon the pun) natural selection process. Brian Proffitt's excellent post on Consumer Darwinism and the Rise of FOSS takes an even broader view. He asserts that with the rise of the PC:
If no one knows what computers can be used for, they decided, then we will tell the customer what they can do with them. And so they did. With operating systems, office suites, accounting programs, these software companies essentially invented the desktop PC paradigm from the ground up. And now, here we are, over 20 years later, using essentially the same paradigm to judge the worthiness of all other software.
Now, with the maturity of Linux as well as the overall open source distribution / business model... coupled with a generation of users who have grown-up with computers
"The desktop" as a paradigm is changing, to be replaced by whatever this consumer-driven market decides it wants. For too long, consumers have been told what they could do with technology. Now they are telling software vendors what they want, and are not so quick to buy into what the vendors have sold them in the past.
We've seen this happen in markets before, and nothing stands more ready to weather (and incur) such disruption than open source... Sound too much like a geek pipe-dream? Still wondering about actual market viability? Don't. Fortune provides several reasons why.

2008 may just be the year of the Perfect Storm for OSS.

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