While this line or argument appears to have some logic, I believe it is too simplistic and ultimately wrong for a number of reasons. While it may appear counterintuitive to people that an open source company supplies its products for low-cost subscription fees, in today's technology marketplace it is the open source company that has the greatest long-term strategic resilience. That's because in today's fast-paced technology marketplace, the value of proprietary software products approaches zero at an accelerating rate.
One of my very first jobs in Silicon Valley was to try to help an internet startup get a big juicy contract with the US government (specifically the Department of Defense). The whole process was a disaster of epic proportions, in which I learned a ridiculous amount about government procurement, none of it good. At one point, I believe the company I worked for was paying a 5-figure-per-month "retainer" to an ex-high ranking military guy, mainly so that he would go out and drink a lot of bourbon with his DoD buddies and award us a no-bid contract before anyone realized it should be put out to bid. And, of course, as an internet startup, we didn't have a GSA contract, and had to find a sham "partner" who would officially get the contract, under which we'd be a subcontractor. And, of course, we were asking for millions of dollars in government cash, and the technology we had in place wasn't anything like what the DoD was actually looking for. In short, the whole thing was a complete mess. That was two decades ago, so I'd hope that things had changed, but we've heard so many stories of the ridiculousness of government procurement, that I doubt it's changed that much.
One in four websites is now powered by WordPress.
Today is a big day for the free and open-source content management system (CMS). To be perfectly clear, the milestone figure doesn’t represent a fraction of all websites that have a CMS: WordPress now powers 25 percent of the Web.
The latest data comes from W3Techs, which measures both usage and market share: “WordPress is used by 58.7% of all the websites whose content management system we know. This is 25.0% of all websites.” While these numbers naturally fluctuate over the course of the month, the general trend for WordPress has been slow but steady growth.
In a surprising turn of events (or not so surprising, depending upon your point of view), the UK has decided to adopt the open source "GovOffice" office suite (a fork of LibreOffice...sold and supported by Collabora Productivity). This deal is purported to serve in such a way as to compliment or replace existing solutions. Yet, last march UK's Cabinet Office shifted from MS Office to Google Apps (for over 2,000 users)...a clear sign they are done shelling out for MS Office licenses.
Google has just announced that it's open sourcing TensorFlow under the Apache 2 license. That awfully nerdy sentence means that part of the software that Google uses to power its machine learning systems — the stuff that can translate words on a sign with your camera or learn what a cat looks like just by looking at a ton of photos — will now be free for anybody to use or alter.
From 2008 to 2013, I was heavily involved in the development and use of Koha, which was built on Debian, and whose development is still centered there. Once, just for kicks, I installed Debian and Koha on an ASUS EEEpc 900—half a gig of RAM, 4GB of NVRAM as a disk—just to see if I could. It didn't run well, and only had room for about 20 bibliographic records, but it ran. Since 2013, I've worked for cPanel, and the jump from Debian to CentOS has occasionally tripped me. Still, I've got my feet in both worlds; my personal servers all run Debian, while CentOS rules at work. My personal laptop runs Lubuntu.
The Australian public sector faces a unique combination of severe budget constraints, growing demand, innovation in technology and the mainstream adoption of on-line channels. The scalability, availability, and lower transaction costs offered by digital self-service have become critical to the development of cost effective public services.