Open Source and Fragmentation
March 30, 2010
The open source freight train continues to chug along, and it sparks some interesting discussion. I have been pointing to write ups about the dust up between for-fee data management systems and the open source NoSQL options. My attention focused on the article “Exclusive: Android Foryo to Take a Serious Shot at Stemming Platform Fragmentation.” The particulars of the write up were that open sources gets popular, attracts developers, and then fragments. The case discussed in the article is Android, Google’s open source platform used in mobile phones and other devices. The idea for Google is to get a footprint from which it can dig in its hiking boot for the assault on Mount Apple. For me, the most interesting comment was:
…we’re hearing that Google may be nearing the end of its breakneck development pace on Android’s core and shifting attention to apps and features. By the time we get to Froyo, the underlying platform — and the API that devs need to target — will be reaching legitimate maturity for the first time, which means we should have far fewer tasty treat-themed code names to worry about over the course of an average year. We like awesome new software as much as the next guy, but Google’s been moving so fast lately that they’ve created a near constant culture of obsolescence anxiety among the hardcore user base — and in turn, that leads to paralysis at the sales counter.
The larger issue, of course, concerns the use of this type of “paralysis” is that it may create an opening for non open source vendors. In search, this might be a great sales angle. After all, who wants to deploy an enterprise search solution only to discover that the zigs zagged unexpectedly? Interesting issue and a potential problem for Google and other open source surfers.
Stephen E Arnold, March 31, 2010
Nope. A freebie. I wish I could say an open source outfit paid me, but I can’t. I leave that to the azure chip crowd.