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Open Source 2009: It's the Economy, Stupid. Or is it?

Apr 16, 2009, 03:02 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Bill Baker)

[ Thanks to An Anonymous Reader for this link. ]

"Not to put too fine a point on it, but opening keynote speaker Novell CEO Ron Hovsepian made the case that a shrinking GDP, cautious CFOs and general uncertainty translates into IT spending cuts of up to 10 percent. He then declared that "open source will be the largest beneficiary of this economic downturn." I had not yet finished my first cup of coffee and I was convinced that the world was ending, but for the saving grace of open source.

"RedHat CEO Jim Whitehurst continued the theme in his afternoon keynote. Whitehurst was a speaker last year, and in his 2008 speech he pointed out that ill economic breezes were kicking up. This year, in so many words, he said I told you so and by the way, "This is a fantastic time for open source." He said that tough economic times cause people to re-think strategies and that RedHat came into its own after the dot.com bust. It should be noted that the next day, RedHat released its quarterly results, which basically hit the ball out of the park.

"Next up, a group panel moderated by Jim Zemlin of the Linux Foundation featured Whitehurst and a group of open source end-users including K.S. Bhaskar of Fidelity Information Services, Timothy Golden of Bank of America and Vinod Kutty of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange."

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