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Not Sustainable?

Criticisms of the open source development model come from misunderstanding the nature of the model. FOSS is not about doing work for free; it's about doing work for which there's a real market. FOSS is developed by paid developers to add value to their employer's products, or for their employer to use.

A FOSS customer is free from vendor lock-in; they can buy a solution from one company and then switch to a second source with no problems.

The value of a second source is well-known even outside the software industry. It's considered commercial suicide to depend solely on a single supplier for something core to your business needs—by doing so, you grant the supplier control over your business. The historical term for this practice is hydraulic despotism—rule through the control of a single, necessary resource. In ancient Egypt, the government controlled the supply of water. Subjects who didn't obey the whims of the rulers would find that their crops were not irrigated and so would die. Today, companies that build businesses based on closed solutions find themselves in a similar position. They must accede to the demands of their supplier, usually in regard to forced upgrades and price increases, or go out of business.

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