Open Source Software is getting good - Are you falling behind?
Open source software has historically been affiliated with minor or 'un-supported' software. Companies (in particular IT departments) have often turned down free, Open Source software alternatives in exchange for more costly, closed source applications because any number of the following commonly held beliefs:
Nothing good is free (i.e., closed source software must be better). We lack the staff to support that cryptic 'Linux' based software.
We need commercial support, and Linux just doesn't have that.
For the longest time, I subscribed to the above credos. However, I soon realized that "the times...they are a changing". LIMS applications are serious and integral components of the medical and scientific infrastructure. You wouldn't want those blood bags mixed up in the lab would you? How about your test results? Such conservative companies serve as a barometer of the acceptance of the open source movement.
Slowly but surely, sector by sector, the young Penguin upshot is being chosen by the larger and more conventional companies. They're not choosing it because it's 'neato', but because it's a safer and more prudent investment.