I do believe that there is significant value in open source – however, complications introduced by licencing models and reliance on support as a revenue source is not particularly attractive for businesses, leading to more tech entrepreneurs favoring closed source for launching their business. In that sense, I do think that closed core is the business answer to melding open source into an effective and viable business plan that maximizes output – and this also parallels what businesspeople have long realized: businesses generally don't outsource their core business, only 'expendible parts'.
Could closed core prove a more robust model than open core?
When participating recently in a sprint held at Google to document four free software projects, I thought about what might have prompted Google to invest in this effort. Their willingness to provide a hotel, work space, and food for some thirty participants, along with staff support all week long, demonstrates their commitment to nurturing open source.
Google is one of several companies for which I’ll coin the term “closed core.” The code on whi…