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[FYI] It'll Be an Open-Source World


Open-source standards will completely reshape the software industry by
2004, according to a recent report by Forrester Research.

IBM and Dell will eventually triumph, while Oracle and Microsoft will
struggle to cope with a changing marketplace.

Forrester forecasts that within four years, all traditional software
vendors will need to change
their proprietary business models to open-source ones, or drastically
lower the price of
enterprise application licenses.

"Proprietary software vendors will suddenly see software development as
an unfair fight:
their mercenary band of captive developers against a battalion of
Internet-armed revolutionaries," Forrester analysts note dramatically in
the report.

"Open Source Cracks the Code" also predicts that IBM will soon regain
its position as the
"Infrastructure Gorilla" since the company already offers open-source
development and
support across much of its product lines.

Dell will evolve into a profitable open-source player, with strong
support and service offerings,
the report said.

Oracle and Microsoft will be hardest hit. The report predicts that
Oracle won't be able to compete
with the widespread emergence of no-cost database and server
software and will be forced to open its applications. But the company
will eventually recover
by transforming itself into a service/support vendor.

Microsoft won't be as lucky.

Forrester analyst Carl D. Howe predicts that Microsoft's business model
will clash so severely
with the new open-source-fueled development and distribution models that
the company's market
share will shrink for the first time in its history.

And eventually, the report forecasts, MS will become little more than a
"legacy vendor,"
offering support for its antiquated products.

Officials at the four companies detailed in the report couldn't
immediately be reached for comment.

But George Nobick, a network administrator and Linux developer, was

"Hah! Microsoft may own the desktop now, but we own the future," he