Open source revenues to reach US$5.8B

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Open source revenues to reach US$5.8B

Relatively small sales tell only part of the open source succes story.

Sales of open source software will grow from last year's US$1.8bn to US$5.8bn in 2011, analyst firm IDC predicts.

Matt Lawton, program director for IDC's Open Source Software Business Models research programme, typified the current market as "early stages" and "immature ".

The projected revenue figure is low when it is compared to commercial, closed source software. Revenues however don't reflect the actual distribution of open source software.

Proprietary software typically charges an upfront fee, while open source charges for support only and typically does so on a pay-as-you-go basis.

IDC cited culture and comfort levels as the primary drivers behind open source software. The development model for instance has gained credibility because venture capital investors are increasingly backing the software. Companies also have become more comfortable with subscription models such as those pioneered by Red Hat.
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