SAP dismisses open source innovation

Open source will fail to deliver innovation and is more likely to break applications, according to Shai Agassi, president of the product and technology group at SAP. "We all talk about how great Linux is," he said at a speaking engagement at the Churchill Club in Silicon Valley.

"But if you look at the most innovative desktop today, Microsoft's Vista is not copying Linux, it is copying Apple." Agassi likened open source to the early days of enterprise applications, when organisations went into the software and created many customisations and changes.

When an upgrade was released, those changes would prevent users from switching to the new version because it would break the software. "Open source is great for debugging, but it's crucial not to touch [the code]," said Agassi. SAP is a supporter of open standards and of building innovation on top of a platform, but wants to limit the openness to added services.

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