Excuse the mistakes; I'm typing with thirteen thumbs today.

Fantastic data about the FOSS market

Date/Time Permalink: 04/15/07 01:17:22 pm
Category: LINKS and Lists

The link in the title goes to one of the most comprehensive studies I've ever seen on the state of the market for Free and Open Source Software. This is quite a long HTML page - I've seen shorter ebooks. There's a lot of data to digest, but one section which really caught my eye was "9. Unnecessary Fears" You never saw so much of the anti-Linux FUD shot down in one place!

Some small sections:

Is proprietary software fundamentally better supported than OSS/FS? No. There are actually two kinds of support for OSS/FS: traditional paid-for support and informal community support. It’s also important to note that proprietary vendors often drop support for their products over time; there is no real recourse for proprietary products users, while there are recourses for OSS/FS users.

Will OSS/FS destroy the software industry? Won’t programmers starve if many programs become OSS/FS? No; increasingly OSS/FS is commercially developed and supported. It’s certainly possible that many OSS/FS products will eliminate their proprietary competition, but that’s the nature of competition. If OSS/FS approaches pose a significant threat to proprietary development approaches, then proprietary vendors must either find ways to compete or join the OSS/FS movement. No one mourns the loss of buggy whip manufacturers, who were driven out of business by a superior approach to transportation (cars)....

...One particularly interesting note is that there is evidence that 95% of all software is not developed for sale. For the vast majority of software, organizations must pay developers to create it anyway. Thus, even if OSS/FS eliminated all shrink-wrapped programs, it would only eliminate 5% of the existing software development jobs. And, since the OSS/FS programs would be less expensive, other tasks could employ developers that are currently too expensive, so widespread OSS/FS development would not harm the ability of developers to make a living.

Oh HO! I could go on quoting it all day - the page is also a bonanza of links to cited sources, references, and further information.

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