"HP does not allow any software to be open sourced if it cannot be proved that the rights to that code belongs to us. You also shouldnt open source a product if it competes against other products in the open-source community and doesnt add value or differentiate itself in any way," she said. Customers should use open-source technologies if they want to promote an existing standard or if there is an existing, pervasive technology, she said, adding that there are also some cases where open-source technologies should not be used.HPs internal open source policy was designed to ensure legal compliance, honor open source licenses, prevent unintentional "copylefting," establish proper business controls based on a clear understanding of open source, and have a place where all open-source projects are understood, Peters said. Open source customers also need to understand what they are using and the license governing it. Support levels also differ and are often not included with open-source products. Documentation is sometimes not available or as comprehensive as with proprietary products, and indemnification and warranties can also be different from a piece of proprietary software. Customers, especially governments, also want to know who is contributing the code, and are concerned about possible issues around ownership of that code, she said.
These include instances where the technologys direction does not match the companys strategic goals; if the products chief architect does not agree with the proposal; and if the time-to-market is critical and that product does not currently have all the features needed, she said.