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Three Reasons Opensource Will Save the Economy

Hey, is your economy down?

All right, bad joke, but it is the country’s current collective bellyache. 760,000 jobs lost already this year according to the Bureau of Labor. Businesses are frantically jettisoning people-weight just to stay afloat. Times are tougher than Chuck Liddell. I think I saw my old CEO in line at the soup kitchen last Tuesday.

My friends, I’m here to tell you that in the face of grim economic turmoil there are opportunities. The fundamentals of open source are strong. Open source software is going to save the global economy.

Sir Isaac’s Third Law: spending trends in the marketplace are reversing course as companies search for faster, cheaper solutions to everyday business problems. Open source anyone?

Open source software is freely available, easily downloadable, and deployed and modified without any licensing cost. Though not strictly free-in-house administration and support costs money — open source software can provide a tremendous boost to struggling small and medium businesses. Three reasons open source is going to save us — watch out while I lay ‘em on ya.

You always make time when there’s less money.

You got two resources with which to do business: time, and money. Build vs. buy arguments die out when the economy softens because enterprise software is expensive. Take databases. MySQL, PostGres, and Ingres can be downloaded, installed, and up and running for little if any cost. Businesses will trade support time for fiscal cost.

Free software removes previous barriers to entry.

It’s cheaper and easier to start a business on open source. Microsoft SQL Server starts at $1,500. MySQL is free. Photoshop costs $699. GIMP is free. Microsoft Office costs between $149 and $499 depending on the version you purchase. Open Office is free. With only 20 employees, using Open Office can save you $3,000 to $10,000.

You buy the shovel, but you want the hole.

It’s amazing how easy it is to forget that software is just a tool. Companies purchase software so their employees can execute specific tasks. You don’t need a laser-guided shovel with built-in GPS navigation to dig your hole. A plain ol’ shovel will get the job done just fine.

So buck up, little campers, open source software even comes with a free pack of weenies and a bag of marshmallows. Seriously, folks, go take the money you save by going open source and invest it in keeping the people around who really run your business. They need those jobs now more than ever.

From Whurley, the Evil Genius

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