“One explanation for why the Linux model has worked best with developer-type software – Web servers, compilers, the OS itself – seems to be that in these areas, there is much intersection between the developer and user bases. End-users contribute, actively participating in the community. In other areas – office software such as professional wordprocessors – the Linux model has had much less success. (StarOffice doesn’t count as a ‘Linux model’ creation, since it is proprietary and backed by completely commercial software.) Isn’t this because in such markets end-users tend to be completely passive consumers?”
Yep. Found this Linus quote in yet another troll-a-thon on Slashdot, and to me it’s the most pithy explanation yet for something that is fairly obvious to must of us — that open source is clearly better in some areas, but clearly inferior in others.
So the question that necessary follows is — are there counterexamples? And if so, are they instructive?