Now, I have to declare an interest here: We (the company I work for) work in a way that has some of the characteristics of open source - we have a programme by which all of our clients are able to share the developments that we do for them - and we specialise in 'joint procurements' - where we find a number of clients who broadly want the same thing, and we manage their projects in a way that they can share costs and benefit from economies of scale - sharing a core system and customising it to meet everyone's desired end-result. Our clients work with us to upgrade their system jointly and to share in the benefits.
But we usually use MS technologies (particularly SQL Server, and IIS).
And we (my company) are - after all - a Co-operative. To adapt Herbert Morrison's claim that "socialism is what Labour governments do", perhaps open source is what co-ops do?
But I've never understood how something as pragmatic as tech strategy could get mixed up with ideology in this way. I do understand that the general concept that knowledge should be shared at the earliest possible opportunity - and that restricting access to, or hoarding of knowledge is ultimately counter-productive - even anti social.
Bill Thompson has always had a downer, for instance on Digital Rights Management - and as I've got older, I've come to understand why. I understand why the Guardian's open-handed approach to its content is not just socially responsible, its also commercially astute.
But I don't understand why this worldview translates to technical strategy. Some organisations really would not benefit from having their systems built using open source technologies. Because it's harder to build up a sustainable company developing using these technologies (it self-selects the type of customers that will be promiscuous, and results in an unstable network of suppliers - therefore a lack of suppliers with well-developed procedures or cohesive teams of developers).
Part of me suggests that there is a link to Parkinson's Law here. Some of the most territorial and bureaucratic organisations I've come across have techies that can't be persuaded from open source strategies. They all have really REALLY shit websites by the way...