Sunday, January 11, 2004

Open source has gone mainstream

I used to write about open source software often. I no longer do because I think, essentially, that it's won. I occasionally get emails from "Linux for Suits" or some such mailing list talking about how regular companies are slowly coming to understand the benefits of OSS and switching, but from my perspective, businesses already understand OSS well and if they aren't using it it's because of some business reason, such as technical shortcomings, lack of support, no budget for migration costs etc. You'll note that all of these are temporary complaints -- the software keeps getting better, more and more people are trained to support the systems, and budgets get renewed every year. The point is that whenever businesses are having a discussion about adopting a new system, OSS options have a seat at the table in those discussions. To me, that's "victory". The software itself rises or falls on its merits, which include the support community it has around it.

Apache now seems to be an extremely solid substitute for MSFT IIS. Looking at the graphs (and I'm not sure if the totals are cumulative), essentially all the growth in the server market since mid 2002 has come from Apache, probably on cheap Lintel boxes. IIS on Wintel has hit saturation already. Sad. (via /.)


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