When do you drop your closed source vendor?

When do you drop your closed source vendor?

Summary: Many people won't use anything but open source software, but for the rest of us it's a gradual weaning away process.

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TOPICS: Open Source
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Wilber, the gimp, reading the manualMany people won't use anything but open source software, but for the rest of us it's a gradual weaning away process.

Personally, I just switched over to Thunderbird, the e-mail client from Mozilla. A few months before I switched to Gimp, the picture editor. (That's Wilber, the Gimp mascot, reading the manual to the left.)

I had these programs on my drive for months before making the move. What I mean in this case is I started using these open source tools exclusively, and stopped using the closed source alternatives.

In fact, my main use of Internet Explorer these days is for writing this blog. About 90% of my time is spent with Firefox instead.

In all these cases, I decided that the open source programs were better, or that my old closed source programs were just not worth the trouble anymore.

But will people go through the same process with device software? Will they, for instance, all use Rockstar to run their iPods?

Even though Rockstar has some nifty features, including support for the FLAC codec, I doubt many people will really shut down their iPod for Rockstar any time soon.

The reason is the continual support Apple gives the product. The regular updates are much like the daily updates your anti-viral gives you. They continually remind you of the product's value, and the vendor's care for you.

There is a lesson here for proprietary vendors, a lesson wise vendors have learned.

Topic: Open Source

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13 comments
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  • Thats very much the long and short of it.

    Most people get enough quality out of their mp3s to not care about Ogg or FLAC while the iPod is one of the few devices on which Rockbox actually [i]de[/i]creases the battery life so that's a non-winner from the start.

    Me? I put Rockbox on my iRiver H10 the moment I saw the magic words 'gapless playback'. Seeing as some of my music (entire albums even) has tracks blending into each other, gaps in my playback have a large effect on the quality of the music.

    But I've been saying for some time now, the only proprietary software that will survive in the long term is the software which delivers something the Open Source software alternatives can't.
    odubtaig
  • When do you drop your closed source vendor?

    ummm, never. <br>
    Anyone that thinks there is an inevitable move to fully open source better start by asking when Ubuntu and most other Linux distros will become fully open. <br>
    Then take some of the largest and best healthcare enterprise systems. All closed source. Nothing open source that I know of that does the full hospital-wide integration. <br>
    Microsoft will be using closed source for at least another decade, maybe longer.<br>
    I think this question is really not appropriately worded, but for most there is no thought of going open source.
    xuniL_z
    • Never?

      [i]Anyone that thinks there is an inevitable move to fully open source better start by asking when Ubuntu and most other Linux distros will become fully open.[/i]

      "Fully open"? How picky do you want to be? Ubuntu is currently the most accessible and open distro out there. Unlike Fedora, openSuse, Freespire and several others, it doesn't have a proprietary doppelg?nger. Mandriva is also a good, friendly "fully open" distribution. [There are also less neophyte-accessible ones like Debian.]

      In any case, even if you're as strict as Stallman, the answer is probably: October 2007. See http://www.markshuttleworth.com/archives/130 for more information.

      [i]Nothing open source that I know of that does the full hospital-wide integration.[/i]

      Have you looked at PatientOS (http://www.patientos.org)?
      Do you read the http://www.linuxmednews.com site?

      I'm tired of reading postings of the form, "Linux doesn't do X [or doesn't do it well enough for me], therefore it will [b]never[/b] replace Windows."

      "Never" is a long time.

      Linux (and free software) is constantly, inexorably moving along. Application support is expanding and even gaining speed.

      You are free to stick with limited, closed-source solutions for as long as you want. But sooner than you think the open-source solutions will be far better than the closed-source ones and then your stubbornness will only be causing you unnecessary pain.
      cdurst
      • "Have you looked at PatientOS"?

        Of course he hasn't!

        If it doesn't say "Microsoft", he's not
        interested.
        Ole Man
    • A great place to discuss this...

      is my new healthcare blog -- http://healthcare.zdnet.com/

      I'm looking forward to your feedback!
      DanaBlankenhorn
  • Dana.....

    I suppose it should not really suprize me that you are only now just starting to discover these things. Maybe not your particular fault, as there seems to be a marked agenda on ZDnet.

    I could be wrong, but to me it seems in earlier days & different owners, things were far more "Open".(ZiffDavis, Paul Allen) Different times I guess?

    Maybe I should direct my inquiries to the editors or principles, yet how does one do that?
    In open forum or otherwise? Maybe you can provide assistance or Comment?

    Why is there not any Linux Bloggers on ZDnet?

    I mean people who use Linux Everyday for work & play?
    Not Neophytes who are just discovering it now.
    Not directly meant as a slur, but if the shoe fits.......?

    You do know...
    People who utilize Linux, Not Only use GPL as well as many other OpenSource Stuff and even some/many Proprietary Tools, Apps & Games.
    The Shadow Market.
    The Long Tail.

    Seems someone might be missing something.?
    LazLong
    • C'mon now...

      Respectfully, while your questions seem legitimate to me, it also seems this was hardly the post to bring it up.... She's talking about switching to open source for heaven's sake... Is everyone supposed to be born with open source programs pre-installed on their computers (well, that would be nice too, but that's a different issue...)? There'd be a lot more "switchers" I think if these kind of posts were more common since no doubt the #1 thing people look for before switching is other examples of people in a similar position...
      brettz9
      • Paula's on the right in the picture

        I'm the one with the beard. Not that there's anything wrong with being confused with Paula. But I think she might not like being confused with me. <g>
        DanaBlankenhorn
        • Ok...

          Ok, well then I take it back... :) Just kidding... Sorry about that...
          brettz9
    • I was writing about the process from personal experience

      We have many ZDNet bloggers who use Linux as their primary platform, and ZDNet blogs themselves run on a Linux platform, I understand.

      One doesn't have to use Linux on a daily basis, on a client machine, to write about open source, or to use open source. Many open source projects are Windows.

      And everyone uses Linux, if they visit servers like those of Google.
      DanaBlankenhorn
  • Does blog writing require the use of

    ?In fact, my main use of Internet Explorer these days is for writing this blog. About 90% of my time is spent with Firefox instead.?
    mhenriday
    • Does blog writing require the use of

      [b]Microsoft[/b]'s [b]Internet Explorer[/b] ? Won't [b]ZDNet[/b] publish your bolg if that particular browser is not used to forward it from your home computer to wherever you forward it ? Can you get away with using [b]IE 6[/b], or is [b]IE 7[/b] specified. Is something rotten in the state of [b]ZDNet[/b] ?...

      ?In fact, my main use of Internet Explorer these days is for writing this blog. About 90% of my time is spent with Firefox instead.?

      Henri
      mhenriday
  • When do you drop your closed source vendor?

    The sooner the better!

    For you, of course, not the vendor.
    Ole Man