Using open source as a bargaining chip

Using open source as a bargaining chip

Summary: commentary Have you noticed the flurry of fluffy coverage in the media about "so-and-so investigates Linux/open source hence Microsoft will suffer hefty losses"?It has reached such a silly stage that soon, if your neighbourhood kebab shop were to adopt Linux, that too could make the front page.

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TOPICS: Open Source, Linux
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commentary Have you noticed the flurry of fluffy coverage in the media about "so-and-so investigates Linux/open source hence Microsoft will suffer hefty losses"?

It has reached such a silly stage that soon, if your neighbourhood kebab shop were to adopt Linux, that too could make the front page.

What's basically happening is a simple case of media manipulation by customers because in three months, one-third of Windows server software contracts with Microsoft's largest global clients will be up for renewal.

"The two things Microsoft does not want to hear are open source and Linux. Even if a customer isn't interested in investigating or deploying Microsoft alternatives, it's a great way to get some discounts," said one Sydney-based IT manager.

Operating systems and server software aren't the only products being used as bait. Of late, even open-source database products have joined the race, and one good example is mySQL.

mySQL, which sells a namesake open-source database offering, has been gaining a lot of traction in the US. Although it hasn't made much impact in Australia, there have been pockets of installations around the country for many years.

In the meantime, Meta Group analyst Michael Barnes is keeping an eye on the open-source database market.

"Right now, only very few leading-edge organisations are looking at open-source databases," said Barnes, vice president for Meta's technology research services in Asia-Pacific.

"The reality is that open-source databases don't have a critical mass of solutions or solution partners yet," he said, but warned that over time, this could change.

"Organisations that are aggresive in pursuing open source tend to be larger [companies] and more techinically focused. I think that we'll have a several-year lag before you see actual commercial impact on the market," Barnes noted.

For IT professionals, the trick is to cull the "right" information -- fashion your arguments for IT budgets after solid statistics or case studies and not fatuous media reports.

Topics: Open Source, Linux

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  • "Right now, only very few leading-edge organisations are looking at open-source databases"

    You would have to say that part of the reason is that most open source rdbms are poorly positioned. They are not quite powerful enough to play with Oracle, and don't integrate as nicely to the different development environment, and support and tools can be harder to find.

    Until recently, MySQL has been a toy database, not supporting Stored Procedures, Triggers, Constraints on fields making it an excellent choice for simple databases with one or two developers (although I believe that these are mostly implemented in the most recent version).

    I have been using Firebird (Open source database based on Interbase 6.0 source) quite extensively for several months now, and let me assure you that Oracle, SQL Server and DB2 have their work cut out if they think that open source database = toy database. Firebird doesnt have all the table space options that Oracle does, but the product I am developing wont hold a Gigabyte of data in the forseeable future.

    PostgreSQL is another one worth considering. When we looked at rdbms for our product, we needed something cheap (free is better), transaction aware, constraint checks, triggers, stored procedures and fast. At the time we made the decision, the two options were Firebird and PostgreSQL. Firebird spoke to our development environment (Delphi) natively, so it nosed out the competition.

    Most people cant in one day change rdbms, so database vendors feel quite comfortable charging whatever they want. If it is practical, make your product able to run on several rdbms. I'm sure you can get SQL Server cheaply if they think they will lose license fees customer.
    anonymous
  • Media manipulation by *customers*??

    Fran Foo says:
    "What's basically happening is a simple case of media manipulation by customers because in three months, one-third of Windows server software contracts with Microsoft's largest global clients will be up for renewal."

    Really? Do you really believe that the vast, disparate and disunited group of entities called customers could summon up the degree of coordination required to consistently "manipulate the media", as you allege? Hey, with such unity, customers could have dismantled the Microsoft monopoly years ago, or even prevented it from occurring.

    Face it, only large vendor organisations (who pay for ads) can manipulate the media, not customers.

    And I can see only one vendor (Big hint: one whose customers are due for license renewal in a few months) who has an interest in downplaying the importance of Linux at this stage.

    Good to see an example of media manipulation right here...

    Ganesh Prasad
    anonymous
  • No.
    But I have notice IBM have made big money out of linux, they didn't do that by selling to the local Kebob shop. I've noticed Novel is on the rise. I've noticed Redhat is profitable.

    I have also noticed in the press is a lot of sponsored research claiming the sponsors
    product is cheaper ( big deal). I have noticed a lot of claims that the product that runs most of the internet including this site would be less secure if it was popular. In short I have noticed a big slab of nonsense, and this article just adds to the slab.
    anonymous