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Against Monopoly

defending the right to innovate

Monopoly corrupts. Absolute monopoly corrupts absolutely.





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Department of Strange Headlines

Why small businesses might prefer open source/free software.

Comments

I think the largest problem is that Free Software is not as widespread as their proprietary counterparts. Switching to a similar but incompatible system is costly (education etc).

If a switch can be made, then all the benefits of Free Software already exist. This suggests exponential growth. The more widespread Free Software is, the easier it is to make a switch, so the easier it spreads. I wonder why it's not going any faster!

The article is also in the New York Times today. The Business Software Alliance should change its name to the Bully Software Alliance. My understanding is that Free (not as in "free beer," as Lawrence Lessig would say)/open source is gaining on proprietary software. Am I mistaken?
Open source/free software is a big presence in the business space, especially on the web (the Apache open source webserver has around 80% market share). My impression is that it is starting to gain traction in small businesses. It is pretty widespread in big businesses, with a lot of unix systems being replaced with linux.

Switching is beyond a doubt a hassle. On the other hand, systems need to be upgraded and/or replaced anyway which is a natural time to switch. An obvious solution to bullying by the proprietary guys is just not to use them at all.


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