The Worth of Open Source? Open Question
The IPO plan of Swedish software company MySQL is eagerly awaited by fund managers, who want more benchmarks to gauge open source's value.
For all the success of open-source software—developers the world over flock to the code available freely over the Internet—its purveyors able to thrive as public companies are few. Linux operating system seller Red Hat has generated billions in value for investors, but its shares have slipped 3% in the past year amid new competition. Novell, which supports a version of Linux, has been criticized for striking a cooperation deal with Microsoft seen by many as a threat to the spread of Linux.