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There absolutely is a future for enterprise open source. It's not through direct monetization, but rather driving down the price of complements for existing product lines.

Running a service on AWS requires two goods. High-margin computing resources that Amazon really wants to sell, and the software to turn those computing resources into solutions to business problems. Solving the business problems has a fixed dollar amount to be split between the two, so the cheaper the software is the more money Amazon's customers can afford to spend on AWS.

So the final equilibrium is that Amazon ends up funding open-source solutions, and profits off it from increased AWS margins.




Amazon figured this out and surrounded their high-margin computing resources with a dizzying array of free-as-in-beer tools.

But they also figured out that making their free-as-in-beer tools also free-as-in-freedom open source, they'd lift all clouds and not just their own.

As the dominant player, Amazon loses from anything that reduces vendor lock-in. That's why precious little of Amazon's cloud tooling is released on Github.

With Kubernetes, Google made the the opposite calculation. As a challenger, it's to Google's benefit to open-source cloud tooling like Kubernetes. Even though their competitors benefit, Google benefits more from standardized tools that reduce switching costs.


This! Kubernetes in some ways was a shot in AWS’s direction. It gives companies a reason to switch to Google. GKE is still far more stable and mature than EKS.

AWS still beats gcp in most other ways though (imho), so it’s far from a slam dunk. But it has opened up a door for Google.


Interesting read on this topic by Stratechery - https://stratechery.com/2016/how-google-cloud-platform-is-ch...




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