Prominent open source executives make the case for lower-cost alternatives during the economic crisis.
SAN FRANCISCO — Most tech suppliers aren't too happy about the state of the economy. Tighter budgets brought on by the crisis generally means less IT spending. Proponents of open software don't dispute the challenge, but they argue the current tough times mean there's more opportunity to pitch the advantages of open solutions.
But Hovsepian, who spoke here at the Open Source Business Conference (OSBC) on Tuesday, insists Linux and other free, open source solutions are just what companies wrestling with budget constraints should be considering. Open source providers like Novell (NASDAQ: NOVL) make their money on consulting, implementation and support services.
Panelist Marten Mikos, former CEO at mySQL and an outgoing executive at Sun (which purchased the database software last year in a blockbuster billion-dollar deal), was quick to note there are many high-quality open source applications, «but customers buy on low price, so in a recession, open source is that much more attractive both for the applications and the cost of development.»
John Roberts, CEO of SugarCRM, agreed.
«All companies are rethinking the value proposition,» he said. «If you're a 100-percent proprietary software, it's difficult to create unique value.»
In another survey of the room, 63 percent chose «lower total cost of ownership» as the most attractive feature of operating system software.
Dries Buytaert, founder of Drupal.org and CTO of Dupal's chief commercial backer Acquia, said the down economy has certain other benefits for open source software development. «There are plenty of unemployed people willing to work on our project for the experience,» he said, which drew a few chuckles from the audience.
Buytaert said 750 people contributed to the open source Drupal content management software.
Inexpensive but too complex?
Yet adopting open source may not always be as simple as it seems, with panelists here Tuesday debating whether open source software was getting too complex. Fifty-three percent of the audience surveyed agreed with the statement that open source had become more complex than ever, while 27 percent said it was no more complex and 17 said it was less complex.
Roberts said the most basic thing to get right and keep simple is the installation software. «If the installer fails, you are not going to be successful,» he said.
Ключевые слова: economy, Linux, Mozilla, Novell, open source
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