A few years back, some proprietary hardware companies hit the panic button when Dell and Microsoft Windows moved into point-of-sale (POS) systems. Fast forward to the present, and open source is trying its hand at disrupting the POS market. You already know about Linux running on POS systems. Now, POS applications themselves are going open source. Here's how.

The trend begins with Openbravo, known within developer circles for its popular open source ERP (enterprise resource planning) software. Based in Spain, Openbravo is gradually pushing into the US market. Openbravo's global ambitions include the retail industry -- and point of sale software.

To wit, Openbravo has acquired Librepos (previously named Tina POS), the leading POS application in the open source space.

The Openbravo/Librepos combination looks promising. Openbravo has generated more than 350,000 downloads since its launch, while Librepos/Tina has garnered 100,000 downloads since the launch of its first version in January 2005.

Looking ahead, Liberos will be re-branded as Openbravo POS.Integrators will play a key role as Openbravo seeks to serve customers ranging from $5 million to $500 million in revenue, according to Josep Mita, Openbravo's chief operating officer.

The VAR Guy doesn't expect Openbravo to push aside Intuit Quickbooks or Microsoft Dynamics anytime soon. But open source trends across ERP and POS are undeniable.