- Second is licenses. This was Microsoft’s core business for decades: licenses sold to OEMs (for the consumer market) or to companies directly (for the enterprise market). Indeed, there is a bit of irony in that both Microsoft and open source, for all their historical opposition to each other, both depended on copyright, strong legal regimes, and companies doing the right thing.
- Third is software-as-a-service. This is Microsoft’s new model, as well as Amazon’s, and almost all new enterprise software companies. In this case what is being sold is not the software per se, but rather the utility of the software: the company doing the selling does everything else, including making the software available reliably.
Source: AWS, MongoDB, and the Economic Realities of Open Source – Stratechery by Ben Thompson