What Companies Have Moved Their Software from Proprietary to Open Source?


Active Member
We keep talking (giving me flack) about what features should be in OpenLiteSpeed and it got me thinking: What companies have moved their software from proprietary to, at least partially, open source? I know there's quite a few, but I can't think of them right now. I feel like the discussion would be benefited by some appropriate comparisons.



Active Member
Not sure how much Mozilla or Xen resemble LSWS. I mean, Mozilla came into its own only after Netscape basically died. (That's not what I'm hoping for LiteSpeed.) I'm not sure how much Xen was ever a successful commercial product, and then it was acquired by a huge company.

I don't know much about Couch, though.
Maybe the question should be, what companies have had commercial success and increased product awareness through their open source offering's popularity ? :)

Just saying :D
Personally, I think the order doesn't matter as much once the open source path reaches critical peak of awareness and adoption.

The basic premise is you need folks using your product in the first place and/or are aware of your product. To this day, when ever I mention LiteSpeed 90% of folks have no clue what is it but mention Nginx and quite alot more folks who don't or never have used Nginx know what it is.

Look at SugarCRM as an example http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SugarCRM

SugarCRM is a software company based in Cupertino, California. It produces the web application Sugar, also known as SugarCRM, which is acustomer relationship management (CRM) system that is available in both open source and Commercial open source applications.

Sugar's functionality includes sales-force automation, marketing campaigns, customer support, collaboration, Mobile CRM, Social CRM and reporting.

The company operates a number of websites, including its commercial website Sugarcrm.com, a development website (SugarForge.org), Sugar Exchange (for third-party extensions), and user forums.

SugarCRM develops CRM software in five editions:[19]
  • Sugar Community Edition (CE) (previously known as Sugar Open Source)
  • Sugar Professional
  • Sugar Corporate
  • Sugar Enterprise
  • Sugar Ultimate
Revenue~$96 million (2012)[1]
Employees350+[citation needed]
And no we're not giving you flack but suggestions :)


Active Member
:(Sorry about the "flack" comment. I was kidding.:barefoot::p (I should use smilies more.)

Sugar CRM is definitely something that I thought a lot about when OpenLiteSpeed was coming out. It was one of the models I looked to for how to do open source and commercial editions together. My understanding of Sugar CRM's model is that they have CE, which is missing a whole bunch of features, and then they have other editions which have fuller functionality. http://sugarcrm-online.s3.amazonaws.com/media.sugarcrm.com/datasheets/EditionsComparison_CE.pdf

What I wonder, then, is what would have happened if Sugar had grown with its commercial editions for 10 years or so, then released an open source edition. I realize that a big part of Sugar's initial growth was that they were open source in the beginning, but let's say they'd been able to grow without that, how would people react to CE if it had been released as an extension of the commercial editions?

I feel like we're trying to find the sweet spot where our open source version is useful to a segment of the population.