2-min read

Recession and FOSS

Over the last several months, majority of businesses have been hit brutally by the recession wave. However, it has served as a blessing in disguise for Linux and the FOSS world. A lot of large organizations have found Linux as a pillar to operate upon and migrate to, in today’s cost cutting scenario. This change is pretty much functional in the BPO sector as well. There have been numerous news on them shifting to OpenOffice and Ubuntu, leaving behind their MS counterparts. Free and Open Source movement has traditionally proved to be beneficial for innovation or research related work.

Open Source is one such model which has not been hit hard by the credit crisis and it’s aftermaths because of its open exchange business model wherein users contribute towards the success of one common goal and the companies make money but offering support to the client after the deployment of the product. The same happens with Linux distributions like RedHat Enterprise. The best part about Linux is that it’s not chained to a corporation, instead a community of enthusiastic developers and fanboys.

The severe liquidity crunch prevailing in the markets have resulted in a boon for the Open Source propagators. Many operations which can be run at a bare minimum cost will find its way up the organizational ladder and will prove its usage in critical times. Open Source will also benefit as it is often shipped with a free-license.

An Open Source product or service will be able to get buyers who are bereft of major cash inflows and the business operations shall hence continue successfully. The best thing that could happen to Linux is its emergence as the top alternative to Microsoft. Open Source tools such as PostgreSQL, Ruby, Perl, Python, and Ubuntu etc. can be used as a substitute to do most work that Microsoft does, of course with a difference in terms of use, installation, features and support. This will probably be of tremendous help to FOSS in retaining its “free aspect” USP.

However, experts would know that Linux still has miles to go before it becomes a household name as Microsoft is. An IDC Survey reported,

“55 percent of the 300 IT executives surveyed already had Linux systems in use; a full 97 percent were running Windows.”

The key to promote Linux effectively not only lies with Linux enthusiasts but also with Open Source vendors who are yet to find out a way in which it can be monetized efficiently to expand recognition amongst its probable user base.

Keeping all considerations in mind, Linux is doing pretty well in the times when the best in other business have shut down. Earlier this year, Ken Huss wrote an interesting article on five reasons why Linux is recession proof and it surely does instill a hope within the Linux community. Today, when money and not time is the problem with most companies suffering with the recession wave, such initiatives can act as a motivating source to develop a product or service that the world needs; proving to the software fraternity that FOSS shall contribute in overcoming recession and probably stand out as a winner.

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