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Market Share or Sponsor Share?

Posted by webmink on June 10, 2004 at 4:39 PM PDT

According to Kirk Pepperdine, Gartner does not include open source application servers in their surveys. Two interesting comments from Kirk's article:

The next question is, how does open source get reported? By definition, open source draws no licensing revenues and by definition carries a 0% market share. Is it just me or am I right in saying that it just feels wrong to be basing an important decision on a report that cannot accurately describe the usage of all the offerings in the space that is being considered?

There are some analyst firms that I know of that give preferential treatment in reports and press comments to companies that pay them money to brief them, and even a reputable firm like Gartner seems to start from the assumption that only traditional revenue models are worthy of comment.

Kirk has no ideas how else to handle the problem, of course, but he does think it may be a sign of the maturity of J2EE that the problem exists:

What it does say is that our choice of application server almost seems random, which is what you'd expect to see in a commoditized market where you should not find any differentiating factors between competing products. If I recall correctly, this was one of the original objectives behind the J2EE.

Just like counting the pages on sun.com, it seems that a mature market with open source players is a severe challenge to the usefulness of analysts. What's the answer?

[Also posted to Webmink]

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