One of open source's promises is to minimize vendor lock-in. However, it's not so apparent that this value proposition holds when using software as a service (SaaS) or cloud-based platform services. The implication is clear: So-called open source cloud platforms, like the recently announced VMforce, are no more open than proprietary clouds -- and believing otherwise will trap you into unintended lock-in.
Open source helps, but isn't sufficient to provide future freedom of action The VMforce offering reveals specific issues about open source's relationship to cloud lock-in. But before I get to those, I need to remind you that even in on-premise deployments, open source doesn't necessarily prevent vendor lock-in.

It's true that access to a product's source code can increase the freedom of customer choice and minimize the risk of vendor lock-in. Conventional wisdom suggests that two factors can keep open source vendors' lock-in ability in check: the risk of forking an open source project and the threat of clients shifting from being a paying customer of a commercial open source product to becoming a free user of the related open source code.

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