After speaking with many vendors on the AjaxWorld expo floor about their business models it seems like the OSS business model is being used by about 50%, for the products here at AjaxWorld.

Selling applications or custom application development services:
Cynergy
Etelos
Laszlo*

Product is not OSS or does not use OSS business model in Web 2.0/AJAX/RIA space
Backbase
JackBe
Nexaweb
Servoy
Isomorphic Software

OSS product or uses OSS business model in Web 2.0/AJAX/RIA space
Laszlo*
Helmi
Icesoft
Kapow
Tibco

I was somewhat surprised with the high share of companies using a traditional software license business model. Of the companies using the OSS business model, the best known, Laszlo, is totally focused on selling support around their open source framework/foundation, they’re selling end user applications. They built a framework to simplify writing applications and made the strategic choice to open source the framework to deliver value to 3rd parties also. The openLaszlo framework drives services opportunities (and later, customized applications), but very few customers purchase support for the framework itself.

I was expecting more OSS companies (although ~50% is pretty high). It could be that these companies got into Web 2.0/RIA/AJAX/etc. 2+ years ago when OSS adoption was less than it is today. It could be that there’s room for both models?