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Why Open Source Is Euro-Chic
Larry Augustin recently wrote about the differences between how Europe and the US view the open source software market

 Chris Keene's Blog

Larry Augustin recently wrote about the differences between how Europe and the US view the open source software market. His comments came after attending the Olliance Think Tank conference in Paris this week (tough assignment, that).

He identified a number of differences between how Europe and the US view open source. For example, he gives the primary European reason for adoption open source as wanting to avoid vendor lock-in, while the primary reason for adopting open source in the US is cost.

While recognizing the differences, I think that the open source business model is tending to converge on the dual-license approach that I outlined in the Silverado Rules for Open Source Software. So what accounts for these regional differences?

I believe the biggest single factor to explain these differences is the underlying attitude towards Microsoft. In the US, where Microsoft is seen as a successful, if aggressive, competitor, adoption open source is a business decision, that is to say based on cost and ROI.

In Europe, where Microsoft is seen as a malignant force, adoption of open source is seen as a political decision, that is to say based on and ideology that trumps business considerations. Viewed this way, the differences described by Larry between the two geographies are very consistent, particularly if you just insert the word Microsoft at strategic points.

For example, on the first observation, the primary reason for adopting open source in Europe is to avoid [Microsoft] lock-in; while the primary reason in the US is cost, as Microsoft lock-in per se is not seen as a bad thing.

At the end of the day, open source is not so much an ideology as an evolution in how software is developed and distributed. For WaveMaker, open source is a great way to accelerate adoption of our free JavaScript download for building web applications.

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About Christopher Keene
Christopher Keene is Chairman and CEO of WaveMaker (formerly ActiveGrid). He was the founder, in 1991, of Persistence Software, a San Mateo, CA-based company that created a new approach for managing data in high-transaction banking and communications systems. Persistence Software investors included Cisco, Intel, Reuters and Sun Microsystems. The company went public in 1999 on the NASDAQ exchange and was sold in 2004 to Progress software.

After leaving Persistence Software in 2005, Chris spent a year in France as chairman of Reportive Software, a Paris-based maker of business-intelligence tools, and as an adjunct professor and entrepreneur-in-residence at INSEAD, a leading graduate business school.

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