Open Source: Capitalist Tool?

Posted by: Rob Hof on June 01, 2005

That’s the opinion, anyway, of Jesús Villasante, head of software technologies at the European Community’s Information Society and Media Directorate General. According to a story on ZDNet Australia, Villasante accused large tech companies such as IBM and Hewlett-Packard of simply using open-source software developers as subcontractors to support their own products.

Many folks who commented on the story at Slashdot disagreed, with one person pithily summing up the situation in open source: “Nobody is using anybody, and everybody is using everybody.”

My favorite line, however, comes from Villasante himself: “Open source is a complete mess — many people do lots of different things. There’s total confusion today.” He’s probably right about that—and ain’t it great?

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BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.

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