From the article:
The open-source business model that relies solely on support and service revenue streams is failing to meet the expectations of investors. For anyone who hasn’t been paying attention to the software industry lately, I have some bad news. The open-source business model is broken.
Companies have long hoped to make money from this freely available software by charging customers for support and add-on features. Some have succeeded. Many others have failed or will falter, and their ranks may swell as the economy worsens. This will require many to adopt a new mindset, viewing open source more as a means than an end in itself.
I do not agree 100% with the article. You can make tons of money by selling solution. For example, I can sell Linux Webserver cluster setup solution to meet my clients need or setup OpenBSD based CRAP solution to save tons of money on Cisco gear. Once solution is sold, someone need to monitor and fix the problem. Another option is bug fix or add addition features to original software. If you can add a value to customer, they will purchase your solution. What do you think?
=> Open Source: The Model Is Broken
Red hat’s Open Source Assurance program is already used to safeguard customers developing and deploying open source solutions. Red hat now asking court to limit patents on software:
Open source software is one of the most dynamic, innovative sectors of the U.S. economy, but the U.S. patent system is a costly hindrance to open source innovation. We believe that although the patent system was created to foster innovation, it’s simply not an engine for innovation for open source. Software patents were barely recognized when open source began, and so the hope of obtaining a patent did not motivate the first developers. Those pioneers were generally opposed to software patents. The open, collaborative activity at the heart of open source is at odds with the patent system, which excludes the public from making, using or selling a patented invention. Open source developers seek to contribute code to the community – not to exclude others from using the code.
There is also Open Invention Network (OIN) backed by IBN, Red Hat, Novell, Sony and others. OIN is a company that acquires patents and offers them royalty free “to any company, institution or individual that agrees not to assert its patents against the Linux operating system or certain Linux-related applications”. On a related note, Microsoft has claimed that free software such as OpenOffice.org and the Linux kernel violate 235 Microsoft patents and said that it will seek license fees.
=> Read more : Red Hat Asks Federal Court To Limit Patents On Software