One more thing about the IDC report discussed yesterday. IDC estimates OSS software revenue growing from $1.8B in 2006 to $5.8B in 2011. That’s a 26% growth rate (vs. high single digit growth for the entire SW market).

Of course $5.8B is a big number. It’s a big enough number to ensure that folks at leading OSS vendors & their VCs are going to be “comfortable” when they retire.

Now take that $5.8B as a percentage of the IDC estimated total software market and you get a grand total of 1.8%. Keep in mind this is the 2011 figure. Red Hat, the venerable OSS vendor poster child, was founded in 1993, making 2011 nearly 20 years into the life of the OSS vendor market.

I believe 1.8% is another reason to spend less time thinking about the OSS market as something distinct. Every traditional software vendor is going to add an OSS strategy to their business model. This is the future; 1.8% won’t convince vendors to abandon the business model driving the other 98.2% of market spending on software. Call it a hybrid model if you like, but it’ll just be the ongoing evolution of the software business model. Slow and steady.

It’s completely possible that IDC estimates will be proven wildly wrong. Maybe the actual number will be 4.9% :-)