“Proprietary software products are much better documented than open source because of the volunteer

Huh? The quote in the subject “Proprietary software products are much better documented than open source because of the volunteer nature of open source software development.” comes from an IDC “analyst” who was commenting open source. This analyst also says “Open source lacks reliable source of assistance when problems are encountered in an open source product.” I guess the analyst is right. Why would anyone run apache when you could run IIS and be completely locked down? Please don’t point out to the analyst companies like Red Hat who make their money from support and services. In 2008 Red Hat made in excess of US$500 million!


This is not the first time I have come across unsubstantiable comments by not only this IDC (I Don’t Comprehend) analyst. The same analyst goes on to say: “Compatibility with existing proprietary infrastructure may also pose a barrier for enterprises. … Some proprietary software is not compatible with open source. The competitiveness of OSS depends on its compatibility with existing proprietary solutions–a crucial strength or weakness.”

Compatibility has to do with the fact that proprietary software creates proprietary, unpublished formats that open source software has to reverse engineer to interoperate. Obviously this IDC Anal yst clearly is incompatible with the job on hand. I wonder if this analyst is a MS plant? It certainly sounds like one.

I am trying really hard to post a reply to the ZDnet story, but it does not seem to be accepting. This is what I am trying to put there:
“I think the IDC analyst is totally off the mark. It is amazing that in today’s enlightened understanding of how commercial open source works, so called industry “analysts” continue to expound naive and totally unqualified comments. The analyst talking about compatibility, support and documentation as well as the “volunteer” nature of the community which also lends weakness to OSS” as a weakness of the OSS system re-enforces that notion that they have no idea what they are talking about.”


  1. In the run-up to the Windows 7 release, you will probably see more and more of these articles, everywhere!
    Conspiracy? I wonder? 🙂

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