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Slightly inspired from Ender's Open Source thread in WOT, but I put it here because I feel it is part of the "Computer" in "Computer and Console." If any mods want to move it to WOT, so be it.



Basically, do you guys see the Open Source movement eventually gaining more and more steam?


On one hand, you'd have excellent supported software (in theory anyways), constant updates and improvements (hey, just fix it yourself if you can!!), and free software. At the very least, good ideas won't be contained to one particular developer, which will spread their merits faster.


On the other hand, Open Source typically means free. This means that making money and having "official" support becomes more problematic. And outside of those familiar with computers and using Open Source documents, could be a deal breaker. I also wonder if you'll get less people involved in Computing Science and programming, as making money IS a nice perk of that CS degree you just received. If everything became Open Source, then it would definitely become less lucrative.



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Working in the IT industry, I see one major problem with open source today.


Big businesses like stability. They love knowing exactly what they got. They love consistency. They like having a huge contract and knowing that their entire Enterprise is going to be on the same page.


On the open source OS market, you have way too many divergent roads, and none of them really nail what enterprises need. QMail can handle being a mail server for a website of a few hundred people, or a few thousand, but it lacks the functionality of something like Microsoft Enterprise Server with Active Directory, Outlook, etc.


Open source is great for individual end users at home who want Microsoft alternatives, or for individual web servers. Home users often use Microsoft alternatives, pirate, or get a prebundled OS and apps anyway.


The only way open source will work and spread is if it becomes feasible for large companies like HP and Dell to start prebundling open source software, or for businesses to switch to it on an enterprise level.


HP and Dell will ship a server preinstalled with Linux if you want, but they certainly aren't going to push it, and I don't believe they offer Linux options on workstations at all.

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