How Open is Open Enough? Melding Proprietary and Open Source Platform Strategies

Posted: 18 Jun 2009 Last revised: 26 Oct 2011

See all articles by Joel West

Joel West

KGI - Keck Graduate Institute

Date Written: July 1, 2003

Abstract

Computer platforms provide an integrated architecture of hardware and software standards as a basis for developing complementary assets. The most successful platforms were owned by proprietary sponsors that controlled platform evolution and appropriated associated rewards.

Responding to the Internet and open source systems, three traditional vendors of proprietary platforms experimented with hybrid strategies which attempted to combine the advantages of open source software while retaining control and differentiation. Such hybrid standards strategies reflect the competing imperatives for adoption and appropriability, and suggest the conditions under which such strategies may be preferable to either the purely open or purely proprietary alternatives.

Keywords: open source, standards competition, computer architecture, innovation returns

Suggested Citation

West, Joel, How Open is Open Enough? Melding Proprietary and Open Source Platform Strategies (July 1, 2003). Research Policy 32, vol. 7, pp. 1259-1285, July 2003, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=894363

Joel West (Contact Author)

KGI - Keck Graduate Institute ( email )

535 Watson Drive
Claremont, CA 91711
United States
909-293-8550 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.joelwest.org/KGI

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