Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Open Source

Hard economic times force changes in behavior, even in Washington State's government. It was announced last week that the Liquor Control Board's help desk was switching from a costly ticket tracking system to an open source solution. In house testing had been performed, the training needed was minimal, and the cost was right, so we're making the switch. Other open source solutions may be implemented if they offer a reasonable cost savings, according to our IT folks.

Now, this may seem to be A) sensible and B) no big deal, but consider that Washington is the home of Microsoft, Adobe, Nintendo, and many other software vendors...and the state is looking into open source solutions. If they find one that they like, then they may look to others and once they switch, then what's the rationale for going back to a paid product for those items?

It's possible that the economic downturn is churning up changes not glaringly apparent, but that may have long term consequences not currently recognized.


Scott said...

MS has been working hard on building their hubris for over twenty years. Google's announcement for their new free laptop operating system put this post back in my mind.

Microsoft seems to have completely forgotten OS2, which was far better than any of their os's for many years but never got traction in the market. Back then MS focused on the home market and the business market followed along. I remember not choosing OS2, because it was IBM, which carried a perception as being a company that didn't give a rat's ass for small consumers (today they'd be outsourcing helpdesk to avoid supporting the small consumers). Kind of a good stereotype for MS right now.

Neither MS nor Google has any respect for customer privacy. For me, that is the only factor which could make me think better of either giant.

B.D. said...

I agree about the privacy issue. Heck, I'd forgotten about OS2. :-)

I'd like to see more open source projects take hold in more places. Open Office would be just fine for my work place, though, now, technically Oracle controls it.