Very interesting article from InformationWeek, How to Tell the Open Source Winners from the Losers.
There are 139,834 open source projects under way on SourceForge, the popular open source hosting site. Five years from now, only a handful of those projects will be remembered for making lasting contributions--most will remain in niches, unnoticed by the rest of the world. For every Linux, Apache, or MySQL, dozens of other open source efforts fizzle out.
That's a dilemma for the many companies that are expanding their use of open source. Corporate developers and other IT professionals must get better at divining the winners and ignoring the losers. The wrong picks can lead companies down a rat hole of support problems and obsolete software.
Not sure if I agree with everything in the article. For example, the 9-point checklist of what is required for a successful open source project is surely up for debate. However, the article is a very good starting point for companies and their IT managers to identify the more successful projects. According to the article, some of the up-and-comers in open source include Alfresco (CMS), Subversion (version control), and Hyperic (system management).
It's funny though, I remember visiting SourceForge quite a bit years ago. These days though, I seem to find the project directory through "word of mouth" via the blogs. Amazing how blogging continues to change the IT landscape.