This line caught my eye (and I have no idea how I got there in the first place):
Open source just looks like the future to me. Who would’ve thought, but it is pure communism! If people are willing to give such sophisticated solutions away for free, businesses are going to adopt them and there’s no way commercial products will be able to compete.
There is so much wrong with those sentences that I need to let this rant out or I won’t sleep tonight. :-)
First there is the assumption (which is repeated several times in that article) that open source software is ‘free’. Wrong. Open source means that the source is publicly available. It has nothing to do with pricing. And, even though you can download software without paying for it, using that software is not necessarily free. You need to take into account what the cost of things like maintenance, education and customization are, and heck, you might even end up paying more for using open source software than would for using proprietary software.
More disturbing is his use of the word: ‘communism’. Communism is classless – at least in theory. Open source software is not classless, not in theory nor in practice. Open source software has nothing to do with project organization. But if you’d had to say something about it, you could say that many open source projects are meritocratic and community driven. People are encouraged to participate, and it is this shared effort that often makes projects great, but people earn official positions (i.e. get commit and voting rights) through demonstrated talent and competence.
Also, for an open source project to reach adulthood, it typically needs lots of input (bug reports, feature requests, patches, discussions, promotion) from hundreds or even thousands of users. But ultimately the project owners decide what to do with that success, as they have got the legal and physical rights (access to servers etc) to do so. Regular users can suggest and complain or they can even branch the source code (in which case they could run into trouble with the license) into a new project, but usually have no final say in the project. Hence, the ownership of the means of production lies in the hands of a few, which is contrary to the communist ideal.
For the companies that I worked for, cost was hardly a decisive factor when evaluating open source vs proprietary software products (except for choosing MySQL maybe). Not being dependent on a single vendor for bug fixes, the often better quality of open source projects (coded by motivated professionals, peer review, many test hours, transparency) and the option of having a say in the direction the software is going, are often more important.