Tis the season of best and worst lists and Steve Gillmor has one that I pretty much agree with on both sides. One thing he bring up that I don't think has gotten enough attention is Sun's news licensing model:
Sun licensing model÷You may argue whether Sun has a chance against Office with its Java Desktop System (JDS), but there's no doubt McNealy and software chief Jonathan Schwartz have altered the enterprise licensing landscape with their $100-a-seat licensing model. The real game-changer: that's per employee, not user, internal and external. A hundred or a million÷same price. It's a marriage made in heaven for Web services, an eBay, an Amazon, a salesforce.com or even a virtual McDonalds. "Over a billion served" takes on a new meaning for the bean counters.From Best and Worst of Messaging & Collaboration in '03
Referenced Wed Dec 31 2003 10:01:06 GMT-0700
As Steve says, this is especially important for new service-based business models. One of the things that really frustrated when I started building big systems was that everyone wanted to be my partner. Not in the sense that they wanted to help me, but they wanted a cut based on how many customers I had. I thought that was the deal shareholders had, but enterprise software vendors want that deal too. Moreover, they want their cut first. Flat licensing changes that and makes some new businesses economically feasible.