I cannot understand why companies like sun and ibm distribute for free the ide's, libraries, etc. I mean i'm pretty happy with this don't get me wrong , but where is the catch??? is it just to undermine Microsoft influence??
IBM actually has a non-free version of eclipse. It is also provided as part of its application server -- which is probably currently the number one selling application server on the market. Selling an application server also helps with selling the hardware platform and services.
Sun is a harder one to decipher. It does have an application server, but it is not really one of the "top three". It does sell lots of hardware due to its affliation with inventing Java, but it doesn't really have a major services business anymore.
One or more of the following could be true: 1. There *could be* laws which give them tax-benefits for such contributions. 2. They get a community of testers/developers who they don't have to pay. 3. They would package the free-product with one of their paid-for products to make a complete package. 4. They give the product free but support comes at a price. 5. Take the example of Linux, its free, but ask any enterprise if they would install the Free (as in beer) version!
Originally posted by Ulf Dittmer: For IBM the main driver probably is to generate business for their service offerings.
Not probably. IBM makes huge amounts of revenue and profit from its professional services business. IBM is no longer a vendor that just sells mainframes -- that business went away 15 years ago.
IBM has huge numbers of analysts and professional developers that go into huge companies, find out what is needed, and build solutions.
Its much easier to sell when they use "open source" tools. They are selling smart folks who know how to use the tools. What they claim is that since its all open source, the Big Company can later replace IBM with Acme Cheap Consultants, and save money.
In practice, no rational company will ever replace IBM's folks, who have been working on the domain for years, and know the exact details of how the Big Company needs the software to work.
IBM sells these folks at serious rates. Mid-level folks well over $100 per hour, senior folks well into many hundreds of dollars per hour.
Eclipse and other tools are marketing for IBM.
Sun tries to do the same thing, but they are not nearly as good at it as IBM is.
Originally posted by Jeanne Boyarsky: Pun intended? When I read this I thought of IBM Rational software before the English meaning!
Sorry, no, I was not that clever.
Just saying that in the 70s and 80s, no one ever got fired for buying an IBM mainframe. These days, once you have paid for 5000 to 20,000 hours of IBM consultants on your strategic system, you are never going to get rid of them.
Their server prices are competitive. The software base is all open source. They are not locking you in.
Except that you quickly become locked in, and the markup on consultants is pretty nice.