Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Open Source: Now It's an Ecosystem

Filed under
OSS

Eighteen months ago John Roberts, Clint Oram, and Jacob Taylor decided to quit their jobs at Epiphany, a maker of customer-relationship software. The trio wanted to target the same market, but write a new application developed using open-source code. It took them only three months to create the program and just another month to close their first round of funding. Little more than a year later, their company, SugarCRM, has given away more than 325,000 copies of its software, and raised a second round of capital, for a total of $7.75 million.

Giving away software isn't your typical path for a venture-capital-backed startup. But Roberts & Co., are smack in the middle of the next frontier of the open-source movement: business applications. "No one had funded an open-source application company at that point -- it was all infrastructure," says CEO Roberts. "We broke a glass ceiling."

Consider it shattered. The open-source movement is making another big thrust forward. Entrepreneurs, investors, and many analysts say they're confident that all of a company's business software -- representing hundreds of millions in sales -- will soon be available as open source. "I don't think there are any limits," says Ray Lane, a Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers partner and software industry veteran.

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

And now for some good news... How open source triumphed over Microsoft Office in Italy

Microsoft Office may have a global monopoly, but one Italian region rejected it flat out. But, why? In the stunningly beautiful Italian region of Umbria, you'll feel more at home running open source software, rather than the clunky and expensive Microsoft Office suite. Read more

Red Hat, Chilean government hold talks on open source initiative

The head of Chilean regulator Pedro Huichalaf agreed to pass information regarding the benefits of open source software to the ministerial committee for digital development Read more

IT teams are choosing open source - but not just for the cost savings

IT decision makers are increasingly turning to open source over proprietary software because they believe it offers them better business continuity and control Read more

Patent Troll Kills Open Source Project On Speeding Up The Computation Of Erasure Codes

Via James Bessen, we learn of how a patent trolling operation by StreamScale has resulted in an open source project completely shutting down, despite the fact that the patent in question (US Patent 8,683,296 for an "Accelerated erasure coding system and method") is almost certainly ineligible for patent protection as an abstract idea, following the Supreme Court's Alice ruling and plenty of prior art. Erasure codes are used regularly today in cloud computing data storage and are considered to be rather important. Not surprisingly, companies and lawyers are starting to pop out of the woodwork to claim patents on key pieces. I won't pretend to understand the fundamental details of erasure codes, but the link above provides all the details. It goes through the specific claims in the patents, breaking down what they actually say (basically an erasure code on a computer using SIMD instructions), and how that's clearly an abstract idea and thus not patent-eligible. Read more