Open Source: Challenges and Opportunities

by oneafrikan on September 27, 2005

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The open source movement continues to gather momentum as more and more people not only become aware of it, but also begin to use software developed from it in their everyday lives.

For me the defining “moment” for something like this is when it becomes a nature part of what is available “out there” and gets used without a great deal of pre-thought. An example of this is the internet or e-mail or Instant Messaging – how many times to you actually think about it before you use it now days?

Malcolm makes a great case for the co-existance of proprietary and open source software. As someone who runs a Microsoft shop, I think this is something he thinks about a lot – managing cost for profit is always the most important thing a busines owner has to take into account, and I can imagine the dilemma between open source and closed source has come up more than a few times.

Something to consider, is that although a shop is biased with their technology of choice in one way, that doesn’t mean it’s the only way – very often it is the client that determines what technology stack to use, and these days with so much legacy stuff floating around, there is little you can do with it, unless the client is totally keen on out with the old and in with the new. Even then, most enterprise clients just can’t afford the downtime; while the vendors just can’t afford to have both sets of skills.

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