"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..."