According to a recent report by Forrester Research, 56 percent of Global 2500 IT executives surveyed said their companies were using open-source software--that is, software in which the source code is not controlled by a single vendor. Had that survey been conducted as recently as three years ago, the percentage would most likely have been zero. These companies spend a lot of money on market analysis, and they understand that, in the end, there will be a monopoly again. The one-winner principle still applies. To them, the world will not change greatly whether open-source or proprietary software is running the world's computers. The end result will still be decreasing average costs, and the same barriers to entering the market will still apply.
What is different, however, is that in an open-source monopoly the barriers to participation and influence will disappear. This will be a different kind of monopoly--an "open monopoly"--from which no vendor can be excluded from participating, including the big companies now joining the open-source movement. They have much more to gain by breaking the existing monopoly and replacing it with the new open monopoly.
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