@TBR: I don't really understand that, TBH, since there's a lot of open source software on the market that have been modified and improved by programmers worldwide... Of course, I've never really tried to alter an open source piece of software, but do you mean that people purposefully obfuscate (like, I dunno, meaningless variable names or removing comments?) the code before they make it open source?
@Diqiucun_Cunmin - Lets say you want to make some software. A complex system. You will need some financing (everyone has to eat). You get some investors. They will expect some return on investment, and you would like to make a profitable business. You set to work, add a couple developers. Now, two year of hard work are ready to go into production. You have worked on sales, marketing, spend buckets of money. Are you willing (or able) to release this software under any open license? NO!
@TBR: Yeah, I understand that. What I don't understand is why you said that all software will never be open source. There are many open source programs, like OpenOffice and Audacity, so are you saying they aren't open source in some way?
@TBR it is possible to earn money from open software, take for an example: Android. Google as a company earns lots of money from free applications only with simple advertising, these applications can be open source. Games can go for the "Pay To Win" strategy if they need that much money, and still can be open source. Operating systems can do so much things to earn money, and still be open source. We can make everything open source and still earn lots of money from it, if you only use the right strategy. The thing is that with open source software you get one step closer to transparency. Which is good so that people can know what the heck you're doing behind their backs.
One of the benefits that many proponents of open source make that is just completely wrong and frustrating is "It's free". This is all fine for individual users, but makes absolutely NO sense in enterprise systems. Lets take something as pedestrian as as MS-Office. The pro version will cost ~$200. That means something for a casual user. When you are deploying to a company, the cost argument fails completely. Its not that rolling out a $200/user app to 1000 users is without cost consideration, 200k is not insignificant. Its is, however, a incredibly SMALL part of the budget for equipping the users. Unless there is a very good reason to modify the code, the much better choice is to pay the 200/user.
Making money off advertising in applications is only (barely) acceptable for consumer application. Using Android for an example of profitability of open-source is not a good example. Let me give you this as an example, as it is ME. I sold off (most of) my first company about 1.2 years ago. We developed an application. To get to the point where it was market ready took between 3 and 8 developers over the course more than two years. It is VERY vertical. There are only a very small amount of enterprise (government) users that will ever potentially use it. It has to make between $75-$100/user/year to make it profitable. To get it to where it was when I walked out, it cost 500k+. I could not have raised one dime to do the project as open-source. (And no, I could not make it up by spamming users with in-application ads.)
Ok, so it comes down to this, that it can be, but only some software. I agree with that on a certain level. If you have a custom ordered software, it has to be closed, makes a lot of sense. My idea for massive open source is so that people can know how much of their privacy is kept. I know that I sound like a stupid hippie, that doesn't know what he's talking about, but privacy is a big concern for me in particular. I want to know exactly what's going on behind my favourite software. Yes, I can use a lot of open source, that's out there, but that doesn't change the fact that so much people are using closed source and don't care about what's going on.