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2008 Perfect Storm for Open Source Solutions – Why are you waiting to migrate?
[February 11, 2008]

2008 Perfect Storm for Open Source Solutions – Why are you waiting to migrate?

Feb., 11, 2008 - This week LinuxWorld Magazine named the top leaders in Open Source for 2008. Congrats to the ones that made the list including Marten Mickos of MySQL; Andy Astor, EnterpriseDB; John Roberts, SugarCRM (News - Alert); Matt Asay, Alfresco; Larry Augustin, private investor; Jonathan Schwartz, Sun Microsystems; James Governor, Stephen O’Grady and Michael Coté of RedMonk; Raven Zachary, The 451 Group (News - Alert); William Hurley, BMC; Anthony Gold, Unisys; and Michael Tiemman, OSI. These guys continue to make sure that Open Source has a voice and it is propelled forward.

I feel that we’re at a milestone time in Open Source and wanted to reflect on the advancements and make the case that it is time for organizations of all sizes to consider migrating at least part of their IT to Open Source.

I attended one of the first Linux conferences ever in 1995. The show was literally a side-show to Networld+Interop (News - Alert) in Vegas. Off to the side, down a smoky Vegas corridor in the Las Vegas Hilton was a ballroom with a little sign that read “LinuxWorld.” At least I think it was called LinuxWorld even back then. A quick Google (News - Alert) search yields less information than my hazy memory. I do remember that Linus Torvalds was there doing the keynote. I was working for a PR firm and doing my thing for a little known start-up named RedHat back then. As good as the story was, selling any Linux technology was an uphill battle. RedHat was so bootstrapped at the time that when my colleague did a press tour with one of the original founders, he was forced to share a room with (name withheld to protect me) and was subjected to a view of him in his whitey tighties every night. Their accommodations included Days Inn and Super8 motels.

We all know how it turned out, RedHat grew beyond belief and more vertical applications soon followed. A few years later I did marketing for WireX Communications. WireX’s solution was marketed as a secure version of Linux and named Immunix. Novell later saw such merit in Immunix that it bought the solution and rolled it into SUSE.

From that first LinuxWorld I attended we can fast forward 13 years later and easily see that the story has panned out, not only is Open Source a viable option, its rapid acceptance has made it a market force for the biggest of commercial software companies to reckon with. In short, Open Source has come a long way baby.

For all of its progress, the most advancement has been in the back office. Linux is more than ready for prime time and already runs some of the most valued company’s in the world, Google, Amazon and others.

Linux on the desktop will be next. You can already walk into most any Wal-Mart and pick up a Linux based PC for a mere $200. While I am not certain that Linux will dominate any time soon on the retail user side, I think it is inevitable for forward-thinking corporations.

Many companies like Entrigue (disclosure – I am a co-founder of Entrigue) see Open Source as a way to be recognized and adopted as part of giving to the OSS community while also using it as a marketing strategy. SugarCRM, Alfresco, JasperSoft (News - Alert), Openbravo, and others have successfully used this to their advantage and we’re making no apologies for the strategy.

With Script Start Community we’re betting it will help bridge the game between the Linux back-office and the Linux front office. Script Start Community allows system adminstrators to begin managing Windows desktops with a Linux based server for the first time ever. We see that by fully managing Windows/User profile settings that this is the first steps of Linux coming out of the back office. And that’s just the v2.0 version of what we’re offering, more great things are planned.

Our solution is just one example of how Open Source solutions have OSS ready for prime time. Others have paved the way. 2008 is a great year for you to jump in a start your migration today. -- Jason E. Smith -- jasons(at)

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