"For the past decade, the LMS market has evolved from providing tools that were purchased at the departmental level to enterprise-class systems purchased at the institutional or even system-wide level. However, since about 2004 the market has been fairly consistent, dominated by Blackboard corporate strategy.
Blackboard went public in 2004, signaling a real market worth of investors' attention. In 2005 – 2006, the market was dominated by Blackboard's acquisition of WebCT, the number 2 player in LMS, resulting in a somewhat extended Department of Justice approval cycle. Starting in 2006, Blackboard was awarded the infamous '138 patent and subsequently filed suit against Desire2Learn, the new number 2 player in LMS. About this same time, open source started to become a viable alternative to proprietary systems in general, and Blackboard in particular, in the form of Moodle and Sakai. From 2006 – 2009, open source became fully established for campus-wide or system-wide LMS deployments. In late 2009, Desire2Learn successfully fended off Blackboard patent lawsuits, ultimately resulting in all 38 claims being ruled invalid by a US Court of Appeals. On the heels of these efforts in 2009, Blackboard purchased Angel, taking another competitor out of the market."
(Phil Hill, 4 August 2011, e-Literatee-Literate)
Fig.1 "LMS Market Share", [http://www.deltainitiative.com/higher-education/lms-strategy]
"the dominant learning technology employed today is a type of system that organizes and delivers online courses - the learning management system (LMS). This piece of [e-learning 1.0] software has become almost ubiquitous in the learning environment; companies such as WebCT, Blackboard, and Desire2Learn have installed products at thousands of universities and colleges and are used by tens of thousands of instructors and students. The learning management system takes learning content and organizes it in a standard way, as a course divided into modules and lessons, supported with quizzes, tests and discussions, and in many systems today, integrated into the college or university's student information system."
(Stephen Downes, 17 October 2005)
Downes, S. (17 October 2005). "E-learning 2.0." eLearn Magazine, an Association for Computing Machinery, Inc. publication.