Economics and Capitalism , Economics, Industry, and Business , Legacy , Philosophy , Trends

Open Really is King – especially now!

Update: this news just came in -what a great fit!   Genachowski Likely to Champion Openness as FCC Chief (ECommerce Times)   Open source was on a roll in 2008, already, but in the 'Crisis & Change Year' 2009 I think we will finally witness the obvious superiority of open systems (and not just in software). Here are some of the trends I see:

  • The use of open source technologies for databases will continue to increase dramatically (see this cNet column); in a down economy this is of course not surprising
  • Open source mobile OSs (such as Symbian and Android) will continue to gain market-share over Windows Mobile and others, simply because they offer a much superior speed of development
  • Apple's iTunes DRM has just been dropped – and now watch what will happen elsewhere! Having said that, Apple is of course not known for their openness (to put it mildly) – but my hunch is that they will start getting off the control button this year, as well.
  • Mozilla's Firefox already has over 20% market-share, and Google Chrome is gearing up, as wellPicture 51
  • I predict that Facebook will be making radical strides to be more open, this year (see below); partly to compete with Google Connect
  • A key embodiment of OPEN – the 'API Culture' – is seriously booming (I think Twitter alone has over 300 services based on their API), and this will only increase in 2009
  • Cloud computing is on the rise, everywhere – and open systems are a must for many of these applications
  • Mobile networks are slowly being forced to get off on their walled-garden approaches (even though the U.S. is lacking behind in this process, see below)
  • "Permission and revenue sharing rather than legal action" seems to be a trend that we can clearly see in online video, for 2009. Witness Youtube, where rather than constantly asking for take-downs, the major TV networks are starting to go for revenue shares, instead (while Warner Music Group is now removing their music videos, bizarrely – another proof that some of the major music companies are heading for the cliff at the highest possible speed?)
  • Print media is getting a lot more open about syndication, full-length feeds and integrating pro-am creators such as bloggers (see my action items, here). The NYT is certainly moving in the right direction here

Related stuff:

* the essential choice we all face: openness vs control (Jeff Jarvis in the Guardian)  "That is the nature of the Google economy. I call it the law of open
networks: the more open a network is, the more control there is at the
edges, the more the edges value the network, the more the network is
worth. Bottom line: if you want to exploit the network that is the
internet, you can't try to control it. That is the network paradox…"

* Wireless networks in the U.S. still not open (Business Week) "Openness and Revenues Will Go Together. So can we ever get to openness? Yes. But it will take a while. Market forces are pushing theOpen is KingImage by gleonhard via Flickr carriers toward more openness. (Who would have thought even three or four years ago that we would ever have carriers endorse the concept of open networks?) It's likely that the best chance we have for truly open networks will come in the next three to five years as the next generation of 4G networks (LTE, WiMAX) are widely deployed. The advent of new device types (not just smartphones, but also Mobile Internet Devices and netbooks) will require a reevaluation of carrier testing and certification processes as well. Carriers will eventually be forced to abandon their current "open but highly controlled" philosophy…."

* Techdirt's Mike Masnick on Openness: underestimating the importance and overestimating the dangers: "Closed systems tend to look more elegant at first — and often they are
much more elegant at first. But open systems adapt, change and grow at
a much faster rate, and almost always overtake closed systems, over
time. And, once they overtake the closed systems, almost nothing will
allow them to go back…"


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