Linux.com is carrying a great story about Mike Gunderloy. Mike was a third party developer for Microsoft's office and backend products. But due to MS ignoring him and their insistence on patenting everything except brushing your teeth in the morning (patent pending on that one), he has had enough, and jumped to open source products, and teaching himself Ruby on Rails.
This is great because it shows other developers it can be done. Remember, way back when; MS made it easy and profitable to be part of the growth of Windows, by writing third party applications that enhanced their stranglehold on the desktop OS market. That was smart of them. Use these guys, and they will only know your product, platform, and ways of doing things. That closes their mind to other ideas.
But this signals a change in the tide. Other developers will jump to open source because it is open, easy to work with, and can pay the bills (albeit not a king's ransom yet). As the numbers jumping ship increase, so does the pool of software in the open source arena. As the pool of software grows, so does the validity of the open source platform as a contender in the mass market. And so the cycle goes, as we have already seen with the growth of MS windoze. As the market grows, so does the remuneration. Nobody minds paying you for the work you do. It's crappy software everybody hates.
The difference between the two worlds is "tie-in". In open source there is no restriction on what you can reveal to the world about the inner workings of the platform you are developing for (quite the opposite), there are no lawyers waiting to swat you with a patent claim, and all APIs are transparent.
The open source world waits with open arms all developers who have had enough of the MS way of business.
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