Recently, there has been debate in the press about “Open Core”. I don’t care to debate the minor points but make a simple declaration:
- “Open Core” has NOTHING to do with “Open Source”. At this point, nearly every proprietary software product has various degrees of open source-licensed source code in its core.
- “Open Core” has none of the advantages of open source to the user and is merely a nick-name for a proprietary software company.
- “Open Core” puts the software user at a disadvantage in the same way that all proprietary software puts the user at a disadvantage.
- The use of Open Source in their software can be advantageous to the “Open Core” vendor as they are allowed to realize parts of the open source effect, including reducing their cost of development and increasing their margin.
- “Open Core” vendors who imply that their EULA-licensed proprietary software is open source or has the advantages of open source are engaging in deception.
- An “Open Core” software company is a proprietary software vendor like any other. Many proprietary software vendors produce or contribute to some open source software.