I read Tim O’Reilly’s fantastic essay The Open Source Paradigm Shift weeks ago, but failed to post a link to it.
O’Reilly makes some critical insights that must analysis of the open source and online movements make. He saees open source as an expression of three deep, long-term trends: the commoditization of software, network-enabled collaboration, and software customizability (i.e. software as a service).
The lengthy article is worth a read and I highly recommend it to anyone trying to look a few years out to see where current online trends are leading us.