Two interesting yet contradictory articles on Open Source


Two articles landed in my mailbox today.

    The first one is “Why Open Source Software / Free Software (OSS/FS, FLOSS, or FOSS)? Look at the Numbers!” By David A. Wheeler (http://www.dwheeler.com/oss_fs_why.html) and revised as of May 9, 2005, is a very balanced, comprehensive article with concrete numbers in terms of market share, reliability, performance and cost of ownership. It is indeed convincing enough for all of us to take a close look at Open Source Software (not necessarily discontinue commercial software)

    The second one is a paper in the acclaimed Journal Information & Management (ISSN 0378-7206) July 2005 Issue titled “Something for nothing: management rejection of open source software in Australia’s top forms” by Sigi Goode of Australian National University. This study is based on 500 of Australia’s top firms and found “that managers rejected open source software because they could not see that it had any relevance to their applications, perceived lack of reliable technical support and the learning costs appear to be substantial”

This debate is interesting; commercial software does enjoy the “incumbent” advantage; open source enjoys passionate attachment. It remains to be seen how open source and commercial software find their complementary positions.

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