Commercial Open Source (COS)
We all very well know the impact of open source software and how it became mainstream in the industry. The success of open source is very clear from the fact that only few closed source products are able to survive and move forward...Windows OS, Weblogic App Server, Oracle DB.
But there are lot's of challenge for the open source software to sustain in the long run if it doesn't have the resources or developer community. [i agree that there is no free lunch and developers can't be working for ever for free in the late evenings & week ends...it's from my own personal open source experience.]
I think, the next wave of open source products will follow the "COS"(Commercial Open Source) model. If open source is successful but if it needs resources, where does it will come from? It will come from the commercial software vendors. The latest success in the COS space are Zimbra & MuleSource.
Let's first take a look at Zimbra: It competes with Microsoft exchange server and still it succeeds, how? Simply it follows a COS model using open stds.
Then MuleSource: There are many opensource ESB's and half a dozen ESB products from big vendors. But still MuleSource has an impressive list of customers. How? Quality product + COS model.
The latest addition to the party is Interface21(guys behind Spring Framework)
Long live COS!