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To Market, To Market

May 19, 2008, 20:30 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Brian Proffitt)

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"There's some disagreement in the community on just who that target audience is. The big commercial vendors like to hit the 'low-hanging fruit': the few but massive enterprise players in the world who stand to gain from Linux use and--let's face it--generate the most revenue dollars. On the other end of the spectrum, there's the call for the ubiquitous 'Desktop'--the be-all, end-all interface that everyone, including our grandmothers, can use instead of the hated Windows products.

"Somehow, one would think, there should be a compromise between these two extremes.

"For a long time, my position on the best target market for Linux and Open Source growth has been somewhere in that middle-place. Small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), I believe, stand to gain the most from a solid Linux-based stack of apps. Unlike enterprises, IT costs for licenses are a big part of their budgets, so they could use a break on the expense. And, unlike consumer users, they don't need every gimmick and gimcrack application to support every single device or esoteric need.

"SMBs need something streamlined, fast, powerful, and inexpensive to get the job done. Sounds like open source software to me..."

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