Scott McNealy: The World Lacks A Major Corporate Sponsor For Open Source

I sat down with Scott McNealy today after he spoke on a panel here at TUCON, the Tibco annual conference here in Las Vegas.

McNealy covers a lot of topics. He discusses his new startup WayIn that provides a corporate social media experience. He jokingly says Larry (Ellison) never calls, referring to Oracle, which acquired Sun Microsystems, the company he co-founded.

Later in the interview we got into the topic of open source. That’s where it gets interesting. He says the tech world no longer has a major corporate supporter for open source. Further, purchasing agents and IT managers are not quantifying the “barrier to exit.” He means that IT is not taking into account what the true cost of total ownership is when they buy from a product company that sells¬†proprietary¬†technology.

I think people need to think about the lifecycle of technology products.

McNealy is so right on. His remarks should give pause to anyone considering buying a closed technology product especially in this time when the vendor marketing band is pushing customers to invest in entirely new infrastructures and a host of products and services with such long-term implications.