By Heather Clancy and Adam Lashinsky
December 17, 2015

Software analysts at Deutsche Bank recently sent around a list of 2016 predictions, and one caught my eye: “Open source keeps eating the world.” Open source is more-or-less free software that developers share with each other for the good of nerdmanity.

Open-source software has been around for years. But the difference now, in the words of the Deutsche Bank seers, is that “there are open source rivals for almost every major infrastructure and data management software market.”

The analysts published an accompanying chart that shows that for every important category of business software produced by the likes of Oracle, VMware, Microsoft, and others there is a corresponding open-source alternative. What’s more, the analysts spoke to corporate chief information officers and reported a newfound willingness to try this newfangled software. “This accelerates the onslaught of price deflation across the entire enterprise software industry, pressuring top-line growth rates as well as margins,” they wrote to clients.

What’s happening here is revolutionary. Even as Amazon, Microsoft, Google and a few others are riding a rocket-ship trend of providing software services on the Internet, programmers are cobbling together industrial-grade programs that big companies are using.

It is a classic strategic inflection point that students of the great, former Intel CEO Andy Grove will understand can make or break not just companies, but industries. For software users and developers, it’s an exciting moment. For incumbent suppliers, it must be terrifying.

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It somehow escaped my attention until now that Joe Nocera, one of my first mentors at Fortune Magazine, had shifted off The New York Times op-ed page. His farewell column is a gem, as is the first long post-business-column feature I read by Joe, now with the sports section.

Only Joe—who in years past went deep on tech topics like the youthful Steve Jobs and the marathon Microsoft antitrust trial—could write a gripping narrative about a song, “Theme From New York, New York,” and what it means to the New York Yankees and their fans. It’s a credit to the Times that it keeps finding such interesting assignments for Joe.

Adam Lashinsky
@adamlashinsky
adam_lashinsky@fortune.com

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