I came across an interesting post by Savio Rodrigues from IBM. Savio writes about the recent announcement by SpringSource (now a division of VMWare) that they are proposing to move their dm Server product (the OSGi app server) to the Eclipse Public License (EPL). Until now the dm Server was offered with a dual-license model: free in GPL or with a proprietary license for a fee, also known as the "open core" model.
Rodrigues refers to a blog post by The 451 Group analyst Matthew Aslett in which he says that SpringSource is abandoning the GPL license (and therefore the dual license model), because the EPL is more permissive and therefore encourages adoption. Rodrigues then brings up the possibility that the change in licensing is due to a change in business model -- generating revenues for sale of support subscriptions instead of license sales.
But he pretty much ends up dismissing that as the main motivator and then truly hits the nail on the head: the real plan is to monetize this and other SpringSource products with cloud computing offering (presumably some kind of PaaS) -- as this was the original rationale given for the SpringSource acquisition by VMware.
When VMware announced the SpringSource acquisition, delivering and monetizing a cloud platform was a key component of their vision. It doesn’t take a crystal ball to see that VMware is attempting to drive dm Server adoption through the Eclipse Foundation and monetize the adoption when operations team want to deploy dm Server applications on Cloud infrastructure.