Back in the day, Sun was riding high as a result of its success with Dot Coms. It was all going to be different; brick and mortar customers were laggards that “didn’t get it”, the future was in the hands of Dot Coms. Sun bet on the dot coms and well, you know the rest.
It’s important to revisit that before validating strategies based on “Internet companies” of today.
“We held an event a few weeks ago to which we invited a broad spectrum of such customers, one room filled with CTO’s from some of the world’s largest on-line companies (whose brands nearly everyone would recognize – the internet as a social phenomena is in full swing);”
“Not a single company in the CTO room paid for software.”
“In contrast, not a single company in the CIO room allowed free software without a commercial support contract. Not one. Validating the notion that for more mature/diverse companies, the cost of downtime dwarfs the cost of a support contract.”
It’s surprising that Sun/Matt believes that the support business model is vindicated using this information from “Internet CTOs”. I say this considering Red Hat, JBoss and MySQL, the 3 best known OSS brands/companies have all shifted away from a support business model. These vendors are selling software, they may call it something else, but in the words of some British guy, “would a rose by any other name be less tasty?”