I've been saying for some time that open source is not a price tag, or at least is much more than that. In criticizing Oracle's "lite"/express approach to competing with MySQL years ago, I insisted that "free, as in price, is just one part of the open source puzzle. But it's not necessarily the most important one."
I stand by that claim, and received confirmation from Untangle this week.
Untangle is an open-source network gateway company. It started out as a proprietary software company, but turned to open source for growth. This doesn't always work well for companies, largely because many get the model and/or culture wrong.
Untangle, however, has done it right, and the downloads have followed. From 145 in June of 2007 to 41,419 in April of 2008, interest in Untangle has rocketed with its adoption of open-source licensing.
Is this just because its code is free now, and not because it's open source? A quick look at the data suggests that "free" isn't selling Untangle. Open source is.… Read more