Has open source been positive or negative for its primary (commercial) proponents? That's the question I asked myself yesterday about Red Hat, Sun, and Novell, and found the answer interesting. I looked at these three as they, more than any others, have results that can be isolated and directly attributed to open source. A company like IBM does a lot with open source, but it's harder to discern the effects on the company's stock price because its embrace of open source is less pronounced/distinct among its other corporate policies.
A quick review of the data suggests that the market largely bought into the early hype on the transformative power of open source, but has taken a cautious "wait-and-see" approach since the initial euphoria.
Take a look at Novell's stock price since 2003:… Read more