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Open source appeals to organizations, but uncertainty still exists

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December 30, 2008

There are many companies and various organizations that are still wondering if open source makes sense for them and their various divisions.

After all, Microsoft has been such a predominant force in the IT sector that a great majority of people still think that proprietary software is the only way to go...

Of course, there are many in the Linux community that simply won't agree with that at all, and will instead tell everyone that wants to hear it that open source is the only way to go and for a number of valid reasons.

For some, there's still the 'stigma' attached to open source that it isn't tested as much as commercial software, or that it isn't as safe to use on a corporate network.

Valid or not, such confusion only fuels more uncertainty in the user community.

To some people, no matter what is said and done, open source still continues to be the center of a "grey area" that still needs a lot more clarification before any chance is given to FOSS (free and open source software), and that is a very sad scenario.

Hopefully, 2009 will be a year where more education will be offered to the nay sayers, or at least better attempts will be made towards a greater understanding of Linux and the open source community as a whole.

If you still happen to be among those that fear open source or if you think that proprietary software is better, maybe what follows might help change your mind. After all, a mind is like a parachute: it works better when
it's open!

Some of the many advantages of FOSS (free and open source software) versus so-called 'commercial' software:

  • FOSS usually costs less than proprietary software
  • It also usually costs less to integrate into other software
  • Open source software can be made safer to use if carefully implemented
  • Open source software has a wider global community than commercial software
  • And there are even more advantages...
  • But this debate has been ongoing for years now, and probably won't go overnight either...

    Whatever you think, one thing is certain: FOSS is here to stay and the overall rate at which it will be adopted in 2009 and in 2010 will only increase.

    Expect more FOSS integration firms to setup shop in the New Year and in the coming months.

    As a "sign of the times", even Microsoft now has its own open source community with its Code Plex website ( Code Plex is a huge portal targeted directly at FOSS and the overall integration of open source projects with Microsoft's various operating systems and many of the company's business software.

    In the last six months alone, the site's membership subscriptions have increased more than 300 percent and aren't expected to slow down any time soon.

    Of course, some of the more "established" and better known FOSS sites such as Red Hat, OpenSUSE, Sun Microsystems, IBM and a few others are taking note as well, and are increasing their overall efforts towards more open source projects directly in their own communities.

    Source: Linux News Today.

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