"Federal, state and local governments around the world are
catching 'open source' fever, purchasing software that lets them
view and modify source code as opposed to proprietary software such
as that made by Microsoft. But whether the global trend will
continue may depend upon new and old factors that could hinder the
increased spread of the open-source movement.
"Barriers to growth include continued flaws in the
ever-improving open-source technologies--which is being used more
for computer servers than applications--and opposition by
Microsoft, the world's dominant software player and thus the one
with the most at stake if governments turn to open-source products.
The leading open-source product is Linux, and the recent LinuxWorld
in California conference focused heavily on product
"In addition, large software makers have been busy obtaining
patents on the ideas underlying open-source software, making a more
difficult path ahead. And lawsuits are on the rise, even among
those firms that espouse open-source thinking..."