Title: Show me the money: the business models of Linux players

Authors: Roger Migdow, Sanjit Sengupta, Sameer Verma

Addresses: Q&M, 3085 Shadow Springs Place, San Jose, CA 95121, USA. ' Marketing Department, San Francisco State University, 835 Market Street #572, San Francisco, CA 94103, USA. ' Information Systems Department, San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94132, USA

Abstract: The major trends characterising the development of e-business platforms include increasing the performance-to-price ratio of hardware components (e.g., servers and chips), as well as the declining costs of operating systems and middleware software as organisations switch from expensive proprietary software (e.g., Microsoft Windows) to open source software (e.g., Linux). The unique origins of Linux and open source software require the adoption of new business models to allow key players to sustain themselves long-term. Using a historical review of the open software movement and a value chain analysis for the open software industry, we examine, using primary data from interviews, the business models of five Linux players (Red Hat, Novell, Navica, Open Country and SohoLaunch). Case analyses enable us to identify four open source business models that should be sustainable in the long run.

Keywords: open source software; Linux; business models; technology marketing; e-business; electronic business; open software; sustainability; Red Hat; Novell; Navica; Open Country; SohoLaunch.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTMKT.2009.023556

International Journal of Technology Marketing, 2009 Vol.4 No.1, pp.63 - 88

Published online: 27 Feb 2009 *

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