WireShark and Open Source Billions

In a interesting overlap in my RSS Dragnet I read Jeff Atwood’s digest piece no Why are there no Open Source Billionaires and he concludes with the good point that:

The real money isn’t in the software. It’s in the service you build with that software.

Which is very true. And at the same time I noticed that the venerable Ethereal network protocol analyzer has changed it’s name to WireShark. No doubt, so they can sell their help desk and university products without any legal confusion.

I think Jeff is right. The service is what is interesting, not the foundations. And growing Open Source consultancy services providers like Kim Ploese‘s SpikeSource are certainly a good example.

Maybe Microsoft could give away Microsoft Word for free and charge out the Paperclip at an hourly rate.

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