Tim O’Reilly has written an excellent essay on the future of the software industry and the Internet in general. He makes a strong case that ‘Open is Best’:
Something happened in the early 80s that was fairly revolutionary, something that had enormous impact for many years to come. That was a decision by IBM to release the specification for the IBM PC as an open hardware specification. IBM said, “Anybody can make these computers.”It’s all about keeping the barriers to entry into a market very very low. Where would Bill Gates and Michael Dell be today if IBM had kept the PC spec closed? The Open Source movement is all about keeping those barriers down, giving people with ideas the opportunities to make something of them.