Enterprise Linux Log

Oct 3 2008   6:37PM GMT

‘Open source cheaper’ story sparks debate

Don Rosenburg Profile: Dkr

A SearchEnterpriseLinux reader from Queensland, Australia, wrote that my recent article asking whether open source is really cheaper than proprietary software missed the point.

“Most users are locked into the concept of Microsoft and this is the problem,” wrote Trevor Hughes. “For Mr. Average, Linux has much to recommend it. If I can do it anyone can. I am 57 and a newcomer to computing. For Internet communications and normal use, Windows is NOT worth the money.”

Hughes really takes issue with the article’s conclusion that users require more technical expertise and a certain openness to risk-taking to maximize the financial savings of open source. However, the article actually addresses Linux on servers in the data center, not Linux on home desktops.

Nevertheless, Hughes expresses the positive, can-do, problem-solving attitude that would lead to successful operation of Linux in the data center — and Windows, too, for that matter.

It’s pretty obvious that Linux can be a big money-saver over Windows. Why else would so many big corporations make the switch? It’s like anything else. There are always trade-offs, and companies and individuals are able to vote with their dollars on what they want to do. And choice is always a good thing.

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