Open source can be viewed as one of the hottest things that ever hit the tech world and it’s hard to talk negative about it. Various people and even big companies work on projects together, sharing ideas all for a common goal. However, according to the I Programmer article “When Open Source Attacks” though most of the time we feel good about open source it does have a dark side.
The article uses Google to demonstrate this fact. Google is the face of Android, which was made possible thanks to Linux and Java. Google was able to take these two platforms and build a complete Android operating system. Google didn’t have to start from rock bottom. It was able to build off of the two operating systems therefore saving time and money. Google uses the Android operating system to make sure that users have access to them in the palm of their hand. Then comes Amazon and they like Android too, except they customize it to work for them and their Kindle Fire. Though both items are kind of different this still takes away from the custom Google Play. There is a lesson to be learned.
If you build some software to help you deliver a service to your customers then the whole game changes and open source can bite the hand that created it. Companies using open source as a Trojan to deliver services into a customers lap need to be aware that their advantage can very quickly become a competitor’s advantage.
You definitely can’t be mad at the open source game especially when you look at the success of companies such as LucidWorks. Guess open source has never heard the old saying ‘never bite the hand that feeds you.’
April Holmes, October 23, 2012