Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

"The Myth of Open-Source"

Filed under
OSS

In February, 2000, the Internet bubble was just about to burst and Paris-native Marc Fleury was in Silicon Valley hitting the venture-capital circuit, trying to get funding for his fledgling open-source startup. When one VC after another told him it was a horrible business plan, he packed up his PowerPoint slides -- along with his bruised ego -- and moved into his in-law's house in Atlanta, setting out to build his startup the old fashioned way -- with his own money.

Fast-forward to 2004, and Fleury is having the last laugh. His company, JBoss, has decided to go for its first outside investors, sewing up a tidy $10 million in funding from VCs clamoring to get in on one of the hottest open-source companies in high tech. JBoss, along with a handful of others, such as MySQL, have proven that big corporate customers have an interest in free software that extends beyond Linux (see BW Online, 10/19/04, "Redemption for JBoss's Boss").

JBoss makes application-server software -- the kind of that's responsible for running mission-critical Web programs, such as JBoss client Travelocity's reservation engine. It's a market that has been dominated by BEA Systems (BEAS ) and IBM (IBM ), but analysts say JBoss is posing a serious threat by offering free software licenses while charging for support, maintenance, and training.

In 2004, Forrester Research surveyed 95 open-source-friendly tech companies and found 15% were already using JBoss software and 8% more were planning on it. While just 3% or so of JBoss users are paying customers, almost 6 million companies have downloaded its software.

Despite his success, Fleury is skeptical of the new generation of open-source startups now being funded by VCs. BusinessWeek Online Silicon Valley reporter Sarah Lacy caught up with Fleury on a recent trip to San Francisco to talk about making money in the world of open-source software -- and why it may not be as easy as JBoss and others have made it seem. Following are edited excerpts of their conversation:

Full Article.

More in Tux Machines

Today in Techrights

today's leftovers

Leftovers: Gaming

  • Company of Heroes 2 Might Be Coming Out For Linux
    While last year developers on the Company of Heroes 2 game said a Linux port was unlikely, recent Steam activity indicates that a Linux port is likely in the works. Company of Heroes 2 is a World War II set real-time strategy game developed by Relic Entertainment and sequel to the original Company of Heroes game. The Company of Heroes 2 title is powered by the Essence 3.0 Game Engine, which is proprietary to Relic Entertainment, uses a DirectX renderer, and designed around Windows. Company of Heroes 2 was released last summer for Microsoft Windows and is available on Steam.
  • Metro 2033 Redux Will Hopefully Hit Linux Real Soon
  • Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth for Linux No Longer Has a Release Date
    Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth, the next game in the Civilization series developed by Firaxis, no longer has a Linux launch date. When 2K Games and Firaxis announced that the upcoming Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth launch will also include a Linux version, gamers were ecstatic. This was supposed to be the silver bullet for the Linux platform, but it looks like we're going to be skipped.
  • Civilization: Beyond Earth for Mac has been postponed indefinitely
  • SteamOS Beta 133 Released
    Besides the normal security fixes, this release features a newer Linux kernel (no specifics) that boasts more network drivers and better Intel graphics performance. On top of that this release also features the Nvidia 340.32 drivers which fixes some of the white screen bugs when switching between modes.
  • SteamOS Update 133 Has Better Intel Performance, VA-API
    Valve released this morning the 133 update to the SteamOS Alchemist Beta. With this update comes new packages and other updates.
  • Crystal Picnic, A Colourful 2D RPG Released
    Crystal Picnic is a lighthearted and colourful tribute to the classic era of action RPGs! Join a sarcastic gardener and a wannabe knight as they journey across the kingdom chasing after ants who stole magic crystals from the castle. Oh, and did we mention the ants have gone mad because they're EATING those crystals? Yeah, that makes things much more unpredictable! Hours of exploration, mesmerizing platform-style combat, plenty of new friends to meet and loads of wacky enemies to encounter. When you fight chubby birds and ants carrying bazookas, you know you're in for a good time!
  • Metro 2033 Redux Shows Up in the Steam for Linux Database
    Metro 2033 Redux, a remake of the original Metro 2033 FPS released back in 2010, will be getting a Linux release on Steam for Linux. The developers from 4A Games have reworked the original title and they have introduced high resolution textures and new effects. In addition to that, they have reworked a number of gameplay aspects too. All of these have been done to get the game ready for Xbox One and PlayStation 4. They didn't ignored the PC, and Steam users will also be able to enjoy the game in a new coat.
  • Team Fortress 2 Receives Update with Important Balancing Changes

Linux on the desktop isn't dead

At LinuxCon this year, the creator of Linux, Linus Torvalds, was asked what he wanted for Linux. His response? "The desktop." For years, the call to Linux action was "World Domination." In certain markets, this has happened (think Linux helping to power Android and Chrome OS). On the desktop, however, Linux still has a long, long way to go. Wait... that came out wrong. I don't mean "Linux has a long, long way to go before it's ready for the desktop." What I meant to say is something more akin to "Linux is, in fact, desktop ready... it just hasn't found an inroad to the average consumer desktop." Read more