How OS Creation is like Assembling a Car
Over breakfast Lynne Jolitz gave me this quote:
Creating an operating system is like having to assemble your own car every time before driving it.
She captured what it was like doing 386BSD for 6+ years. And you know, it caused me to think of the evolution of software business models, as the industry turns en masse to service oriented software, the thin client model, and cloud computing.
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Open source success was keyed upon support services, which as Bill Burnham commented on, might be tanking - see "Giving away the Store ...".
When I had lunch with him, I discussed the strategic open source business model class, which could transform the flat outlooks for many current firms into more dynamic performers.
It seems that the elements for this to occur have finally happened with the growth of gadgets, the move to software on the web as a primary platform, and virtualization trends.
Suddenly, the ability to develop and deploy new software platforms reliably becomes measured by approaching a zero cost, zero defects, zero power trifecta - or, in another term of art from consumer goods, a "triple zero point".
What is the value of insuring that your new software product always leads its rivals in this competition? So the model here is similar to business intelligence, but the yield is based off of insuring critical path and time to market concerns.
How much does a day/month/year slip or a flop in a product release cost Microsoft? Answer: 7-8 figures. How often does it happen? Answer: too often. And its not getting better, its actually getting worse.