Perhaps, we could use term BBoodle....now...or Bakai, just joking..
People old enough to remember Linux, may see some parallel, though Linux has been a successful story. It was projected as a potential replacement of windows at consumer level, but it was unsuccessful. But it has been extremely successful at developer level to run the backend servers that are hidden. So I think in long run, it will show again that any open source product may not be successful in long run when facing users in general public. That is what Google, and Facebook etc are not open source. but people love them.
All this discussion is from the point of view of Moodlers. But you also need to see the situation from the point of view of a university, specially in US. Many were planning to transition from BB or Angel, and Moodle seemed a good option. Moodle Room was competting for lot of businesses, it was cheaper, and good. Many of them transitioned to MoodleRoom, and now they are in clutches of the same devil they were trying to escape
This whole episode will put a questionmark on if the universities can trust Open Source.
1. Blackboard already got the main person of Sakai movement. What stops BB from buying other Moodle partner companies. That is why universites will think seriously about going with Moodle parners
2. The second issue is of support to Moodle, and funding. Lot of funding comes from moodle partners, and Moodle Room and NetSpot were the biggest contributors. Now that is in hands of BB, and that support could dry after the initial flood.
If I put myself in the shoes of BB executive, this was a very smart move.
A. Since BB cannot acquire Moodle and Sakai, the approach is to aquire funding sources, and support, give money, support, and when other support dries up, then starve the open source code. Without Moodle partners, Moodle is of not much use to universties, as hosting by themsleves is expensive. Also, current moodle partners may be hit, and more companies may be reluctant to enter the market as moodle partners.
I respect Dr. Chuck, Sakai's main man. As BB, executive, I will give him a large group, funding, etc to initate open source group. Then after some time, cut funding, frustrate the person, who will then leave, and therby killing by "overfeeding". So my advice to Dr. Chuck is that please enjoy the money. It must be good.
B. From a business perspective, as BB executive, I will start to raise price of support of Moodle, and offer more expensive features. In this way try to raise the bottomline cost of ownership of moodle to be closer to BB. Other Moodle parners may not be able to add the features.
C. MoodleRoom and (perhaps Reomote Learner) were competitors for many universites wanting to change from BB or Angel. Now with this purchase, perhaps Moodleroom may not even bid.Many universites will hold their transition plans on hold for some time.
D. Perhaps should may buy Instructure Canvas also as that is also open source.
Overall, I think whoever in BB pushed for this strategic decision, he/she should get big bonus. It was a fantastic business move, though very bad for customers and the world of education. But this is the state of LMS market, which I think is dying and loosing overall total market in US, with price competitions.
Overall, the Losers and gainers of this move in my opinion are:
Gainers: BB, Desire to learn, Dr Chuck ( Money)
Losers: Students, teachers, universites, Moodle, Sakai, Dr. Chuck (vision and principles), Sakai,