Monday, February 19, 2007

Marketshare Redux

Back in May, when I was still at Ingres, I wrote a blog entry on the measurement of market share in the software industry. One of the comments I made welcomed Gartner's new way of looking at market share that gave a little more credit to the open-source companies who don't charge license fees.

Another article has come out recently about how IDC is predicting that the Linux ecosystem will reach $40 billion by 2010. I picked up on this one by reading Matt Asay's blog entry on the subject.

Now, I have a love-hate relationship with the analysts. Many of them I consider to be close friends and I've told them that I think analysts are usually predicting the past and half the time they get that wrong.

The major issue I have with the IDC numbers is they're using old techniques to measure and judge the success of an open-source product/project. The concept of open-source projects is their ability to remove money from the ecosystem, not in creating a new, large(r) ecosystem. I realize that investors want to know how much money they can make by investing in open-source companies, but if you really want to be useful then tell me something I don't know.

I know that Linux and other open-source businesses are going to grow tremendously. I know that you can look at dollar figures over a time-line and predict future dollar figures.

What I don't know is how much money is being removed from the IT infrastructure budgets. Open-source is about doing it better, cheaper, faster and more transparently than the closed-source vendors can allow. Tell me how much money will be saved by the IT industry by adopting open-source vs. closed-source and you'll give me a much better picture of the impact of open-source.

The closed-source vendors have trained the analysts to measure success by how much money they make. How about measuring success by how much money customers save? Now, that's a prediction I'd like to see someone make.


maninusa said...

Hi Dave. I was a reader of your blog on but today I found out that you moved to blogger. Could you please enable RSS feed for this blog in the settings ? That would be very convinient since many people use RSS aggregators.


Dave Dargo said...

I believe that it is enabled and I checked to make sure that certain ping settings and publications settings were turned on. I believe you can find the subscribe button at the bottom of the blog. Please let me know if you're still having difficulty and I'll try and get it set up correctly.


Anonymous said...

Love the dig at analysts...