i started reading with enthusiasm, then came to page two where they list their "major findings". but if this is what they "found", this is less of an open source think tank and more of an open source think bicycle. here are their findings, with my comments following each:
- ISVs will look and conduct business very differently than they do today and will be much more dependant upon services revenue: ok, perhaps this is news for ISVs. though if one looks around, you can already see it happening. so this is a safe bet in my books, though probably a decent "finding" none-the-less.
- Many of the legal concerns around open source licensing will be resolved or fail to come to fruition: given sco's brilliant lack of success, the lack of other legal threats arising (remember when indemnity was a hot topic?) and even microsoft bitching about patents this is another safe bet.
- Open source is not a business model in and of itself: uuuuh ... maybe by "finding" they meant "we looked it up on google" because this has been common knowledge for many, many years
- Open source will be a standard, core element of most compute environments
Like Linux, open source will achieve ubiquity: ok... riddle me this, batman ... how can linux be ubiquitous but open source not when linux is open source and therefore a sub-set of all open source software? maybe they just worded it poorly, in which case it's too bad the english language think tank wasn't there.
reading on it turns out the event kicked off with the head of va software (the company that used to do open source) reminiscing about chatting it up with eric raymond. oy vey. at this point i debated closing the document and pretending i hadn't already wasted 10 minutes of life. but on i trudged.
and then the clouds broke, the sun poured down upon my eyes and i broke the code: this wasn't an open source think tank! this was executives from places like bank of america getting their head around this odd new animal called "open source"! reading through the break out sessions it was mostly a series of "well, of course!" type non-revelations, but the fact that the men in suits are starting to be able to come up with these things on their own now says we've come a long, long way towards getting the message out. if managers understand it, it's essentially mainstream (some might say that means it was mainstream a couple years ago ;)
the coverage of doc searl's presentation was worth the read as well. as usual, it sounds like he did a great job of presenting the concepts in a clear and impactful way.
the document wrapped up with agreements, disagreements and potential obstacles. the latter were a mix of hilarity and good points. i wonder if they meant it that way. maybe next time they'll invite a couple of us unwashed developer types they opined so much about in their report to join their think tank session. i think both would get a lot of out of it. they'd get some real insights into the current and future directions of things, and we'd get some real insights into their needs, expectations, hopes and current levels of understanding.