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Line56: The OSS Fear Factor

Dec 23, 2003, 16:00 (5 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by JT Smith)


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"In this security-conscious era, getting IT or business leaders to consider using OSS can be a tough sell. One of the main reasons is a perceived lack of control--or a throat to choke to put it another way. If you purchase packaged software, you know who's responsible. If you're using Microsoft Outlook and some knucklehead exploits a hole to distribute a virus to your user base, all eyes turn to Redmond for a patch. But if you're using Evolution and a similar problem occurs, to whom do you turn for a remedy? (See Myth #4 for the answer.)

"One of the appeals of OSS within the open source community is that it is developed for the greater good rather than simply to make a buck. Yet this egalitarian appeal is also one of its greatest barriers to its general acceptance. In the absence of hard information, a number of myths have sprung up which make the prospect of using open source software for enterprise applications scarier than that box of tarantulas. Let's examine some of these myths (and the truths about them) in order to bring a greater understanding of OSS, and see how your organization can benefit from it..."

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