Who pay OSS developers?

•Wednesday, 6 May 2009 • Leave a Comment

Lunduke wrote 2 compelling blogs ( 1 & 2) on the funding of Open Source Software (OSS).  As he rightly says, OSS developers have to eat.  Part of the profit of proprietary software ould be e to fund the R & D of software.  

But, does it really cost that much.  Is it not that the profit from software was what made Bill Gates one of the richest individuals on earth?  And come to think of it, how much R & D gone into Millenium and Vista if those 2 was, IMHO, 2 disastrous editions of Windows?  

That brings anohter question.  How much profit is ethical?  

Lunduke is right in saying that funding comes from big enterprises and funding from proprietary software companies.  Another blogger also suggests that funding comes from hardware manufacturers like Intel.

Mark Shuttleworth hopes that it will never come down to advertising!  He suggests (or is it hope) that sufficient funding will come from add-on services, maybe like Red Hat.

Is there a future for OSS developers?  If the proprietary software companies (and hardware companies) funds OSS, is it possible for porporietary software to one day, become part of OSS?  Will we have one day, WIndows’ source code to change, share and distribute “SuSE Win, Gentoo Win” etc?  Obviously, the staibility of Windows will be better – it seems to me as if Microsoft can only win by this!