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Linux vs. Windows: A comparison of application and platform innovation incentives for open source and proprietary software platforms

The paper analyzes and compares the investment incentives of platform and application developers for Linux and Windows. We find that the level of investment in applications is larger when the operating system is open source rather than proprietary. The comparison of the levels of investment in the operating systems depends, among others, on reputation effects and the number of developers. The paper also develops a short case study comparing Windows and Linux and identifies new directions for open source software research.

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Paper provided by NET Institute in its series Working Papers with number 05-07.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:net:wpaper:0507
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  1. Bitzer, Jurgen, 2004. "Commercial versus open source software: the role of product heterogeneity in competition," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 369-381, December.
  2. Jürgen Bitzer & Philipp J. H. Schröder, 2003. "Competition and Innovation in a Technology Setting Software Duopoly," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 363, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  3. Mustonen, Mikko, 2003. "Copyleft--the economics of Linux and other open source software," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 99-121, March.
  4. Justin Pappas Johnson, 2002. "Open Source Software: Private Provision of a Public Good," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(4), pages 637-662, December.
  5. Josh Lerner & Jean Tirole, 2004. "The Economics of Technology Sharing: Open Source and Beyond," NBER Working Papers 10956, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Nicholas Economides & Evangelos Katsamakas, 2005. "Two-sided competition of proprietary vs. open source technology platforms, and the implications for the software industry," Working Papers 05-02, NET Institute, revised Oct 2005.
  7. Mikko Mustonen, 2005. "When Does a Firm Support Substitute Open Source Programming?," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(1), pages 121-139, 03.
  8. Franke, Nikolaus & Hippel, Eric von, 2003. "Satisfying heterogeneous user needs via innovation toolkits: the case of Apache security software," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 1199-1215, July.
  9. Lerner, Josh & Tirole, Jean, 2001. "The open source movement: Key research questions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 819-826, May.
  10. Stefano Comino & Fabio Manenti, 2005. "Government Policies Supporting Open Source Software for the Mass Market," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 217-240, December.
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