Recently we have joined MindTheBird Campaign, and it's a good time to explain our attitude to Firebird.
As you know, currently there are lot of big and small companies involved in open source support and development. Some big companies (like IBM or Oracle) use open-source as mass destruction weapon against competitors, and also split development and/or testing and (definitely!) marketing costs with open-source community.
Some companies (like majority of Firebird Foundation members) support open source because they rely on them as part of their business - as platform or in other way.
And I doubt that there is company that supports open source project as complete charity, without intention to use its code in this or that way. If you know such company - please refer to it, I'm interested to know.
For IBSurgeon the answer for the question "why you support Firebird" is pretty obvious. Our main business is related with database recovery. Our statistics for last 8 years shows that there is a pretty stable ratio between overall Firebird users and databases crashes. There were some peaks related with pre-release bugs but the baseline is rather stable and has slow growth tendency.
If we will exclude peaks we can see for sure that corruptions are mostly caused by lack of administration and hardware failures. This is the part of nature - people make mistakes, hardware is being broken. So ratio is pretty predictable and will be predictable as human nature and hardware will be at the current level.
So we can consider the whole Firebird user base as potential customers which will be converted to recovery solution consumers and, for serious enterprises, to consumers of our protection tools and services.
So we see the great potential of Firebird growth, because proprietary databases have serious issues due to the increasing open-source adoption and, of course, due to tough economics.