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Free and open source software – a feasibility study

Posted on 12 June 2003 by Demian Turner

I had this PDF sitting on my ‘desktop’ for months, I finally got around to reading it, very good essay :-)  I think I got it from the MySQL site, you’ll notice the Swedish slant.

An interesting question is whether or not it is possible to make a profit on free and open source software. Since access to the workings of the software itself, the source code, is free of charge, any business model must be geared towards value-added services and products.

Successful business models based on free and open source software emanate from one or more of the following areas:

  • Software distributions: the sale of a packaged product based on free and open source software.
  • Development and sales of in-house developed product.
  • Added-value sale: free and open source software is used in order to support the sale of one’s own supplementary products, such as other applications and hardware.
  • Services: support, training, consulting, etc.
  • Accessories: literature, etc.

Both HP and IBM reported revenues of billions of dollars for Linux-related solutions in 2002.

Saving the best for last 😉  Thanks to Adobe’s great PDF-to-Html converter for when it comes to quoting PDFs.

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