[ubuntu-za] Nice comment

Andrew Alston aa at tenet.ac.za
Thu Feb 21 13:33:00 GMT 2008

I need to play devils advocate here for a second (btw, we are a largely 
open source shop, this is not my dislike of open source making me right 

The problem comes in the fact that unfortunately, particularly in the 
corporate space, there is often far more trust in what is payed for than 
for what is free.  The logic is simple, if you pay for it, you have 
someone to scream at when it breaks, if you pay for it, and it breaks, 
you can point the finger.  In the corporate world, and in various other 
sectors, people are often very scared of that which is free, or that 
which is to cheap.  Its similar to a graph I was shown the other day by 
a colleague about tax income in a country.  If you tax people at 0, you 
make 0 income, if you tax people at 100%, you also make 0, because no 
one does any work and/or pays their taxes.  The sweet spot is somewhere 
in between.  A very similar mentality applies to the I.T industry, 
people feel more secure with things they have paid for.

The trick to understanding this is NOT to look at it from a techie 
perspective, look at it from the point of view of a non-technical board 
of a large company that simply wants to protect themselves from risk, 
and whats someone to go back to when their investments in 
hardware/software/etc go horribly wrong.  I've seen multi-million rand 
tenders be awarded to a more expensive contractor purely because the 
first contractor was to cheap and as a result people questioned the 
contractors understanding of the job and his ability to deliver it.

*THAT* is one of the major battles open source will always face in 
getting widely accepted in the corporate market, humanities lack of 
trust in that which is free.

Not saying it cant be overcome, but it is a perspective to keep in mind


Andrew Alston
TENET - Chief Technology Officer

William Kinghorn wrote:
> Hi All,
> here is nice comment from this page :
> http://www.itwire.com/content/view/16721/1090/1/2/
> Quote
> *whoosh*
> written by ricegf, February 21, 2008
> @camerageek: 'I'll believe that Linux is "ready for the desktop" when I
> can walk into the local store and get to choose between boxes of popular
> software titles that differ only by whether the label reads "For
> Windows" or "For Linux".'
> So, you'll believe that a *free* operating system with tens of thousands
> of *free* applications that can be installed at the click of a mouse is
> "ready" when you're forced to go into a local store, choose from a
> hundred or so applications, pay big bucks, take a *box* home, and shove
> a CD into your computer - just like your dad did in the 1990's?
> May I recommend http://www.ubuntu.com, and welcome to the 21st century,
> my friend. 
> Unquote
> William

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