"Maria C. Winslow, 37, started her Raleigh business, Open Source
Migrations (the Web site is www.windows-linux.com) last year when
she saw that open-source software--Linux and related software
applications--had matured to the point that it could offer a
viable, money-saving option to cash-strapped organizations and
businesses. Winslow, a programmer by training, works with a team of
contractors who act as consultants to customers interested in
making the switch to open source--which is cheap, even
"Q. What prompted you to start your business?
"A. Well, Linux on the server is mainstream now. For Internet
infrastructure it's about one-third of the market. So it's nothing
new; it's been around for 10 years. It's just that now, with
budgets down, with people a little annoyed with some of the
Microsoft licensing issues that they've seen, with a renewed focus
on getting value from [information technology] rather than IT being
a sinkhole--conditions just seemed right for people to get started
in earnest figuring out where to put Linux and other things in the
environment. A couple of things have happened in the past couple of
years, and especially the past year, to make Linux more viable than
it's ever been and to finally make it viable on the desktop.
There's a clone of Word, Excel and PowerPoint that's very good. It
runs on Linux, [Apple's] OS X and Windows..."