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Open Source's Moment is Now

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There are number of factors coming together that lead me to believe that open source's moment is right now, today, this year. Open source already runs so many things and just last week as Barack Obama was elected the 44th president of the United States, he asked Scott McNealy of Sun to prepare a report on open source technologies as a first step toward exploring the use of open source in government.

When you combine this with the current economic crisis, the maturation of open source products in general, and a willingness to explore FOSS (free and open source software) as a reasonable alternative, these factors are coming together at this one moment in time and it's time for Open Source to step up.

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How many pundits/bloggers/fanboys have said that time and time again over the last 10-12 years?

The Economy is hardly a factor (good or bad) for buying commercial software. The actual cost of the software (or licenses) is a teeny tiny drop in the overal expense of IT to the business.

If I'm paying someone $46,000 US a year (roughly $22/hr) and retraining them from being comfortable on windows and ms office (lets say $600 USD in one-time buy-in costs) to another os and apps takes more then 28 hours (roughly 3.5 biz days) then I've lost money. And lets not forget that the OS and Office Apps is good for at LEAST 3 years - so that cost is actually amortized over that time period.

Since ALL my employees make more then that, and even though they're smart cookies (all but 3 have PhD's), it would be impossible to expect them to relearn a new OS and new Apps in just 3-4 days.

Lets see that type of ROI (or is that LOI - loss on investment) get past management and the bean counters.

Linux (both OS and Apps) need to FOCUS on why they are a BETTER choice - not that they think they are a CHEAPER choice (and for the desktop - in both cases they are WRONG).

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