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OSNews: Small Business Dilemma: Open Source or Proprietary Software?

Jul 24, 2003, 22:00 (6 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Alex Chejlyk)

"If you are looking at operating costs, open source offers the least expensive computing environment for small business. While the quality of open source software varies from excellent to pre-alpha, the same can be said of proprietary software. Just take a look at some of the bargain bins at the local office superstore if you think all proprietary software is slick and polished. Care must be taken when choosing any software package.

"Less than two years ago we evaluated our software needs and the cost of upgrading our OS licenses. We wanted to become fully legal and up to date with our software licensing. The desktop software licenses were going to cost approximately $1000.00 each, that was $8000.00 total in desktop software licensing. The servers were going to cost us approximately $4235.00 in software licensing, as we were going to upgrade to MS Windows 2000 Server and Exchange 2000 Server. This $12,235.00 figure was extremely high for our shop. We'd also have less available software, because we were not going to purchase software that wasn't absolutely necessary. This is when we looked into using open source. Open source software provided all the tools we needed for less than $100.00, total. Re-training cost was all we had to pay for, that payment would be in the form of time. When the estimated cost of retraining was compared to proprietary software's licensing fees, we made the decision to migrate to open source..."

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