The commercial software vendors are starting to grind down the “For-profit” open source variants. The trick is simple. Commercial vendors have many more alternatives for their software revenue streams – the same service and support streams of Open Source but also licensing , runtime or software assurance sales streams. So that is exactly what Oracle is doing to Redhat – cutting the cost of support revenues in half. Or what Microsoft is doing – annointing a patent and API annointed preferential Linux with Suse Linux.
The result is the following: RedHat, becoming desperate for revenues, is in turn trying to goose its Support and education revenues by beating up on smaller, independent vendors. This is literally a revolting development – except perhaps in Redwood Shores and Redmond. For Larry and Bill it is a demo to other Open Sourcers – and what they can do to them if Open Source software takes too much of their core revenues. As IT markets consolidate, expect more of this tension between Commercial and Open Source software providers.