In December, I talked to OpenLogic VP Kim Weins about the company's intent to launch a global open source census in an effort to gather hard numbers on open source use in the enterprise. She noted that traditional survey methods weren't useful when gathering such numbers:
Because open source software often bypasses traditional procurement and approval processes, CIOs are often in the dark on how widely used the software is within their organization. Developers can easily download, prototype and even deploy open source without the CIO's buy-in. Therefore, CIOs answering traditional market research surveys don't even have accurate data to report when asked how many or which open source packages they use.
To get around that lack of data, then, the census would require participants to download an OpenLogic tool that will scan their systems for open source software and then compile the results. Participants would then have the option of submitting their data to the census anonymously.
Computing reports that the Apache Foundation and Carnegie Mellon University's Tony Wasseman are advising the project.
Well, on Wednesday, OpenLogic's effort began in earnest. The Open Source Census is up and running.
Early reports from ZDNet UK blogger Peter Judge, who participated in the census, were that Ubuntu was the most popular among participants, but a reader commented shortly after Judge's post that Mozilla's Firefox browser had taken the lead.
However, as Judge noted, "It's very early days" for the census. So early, in fact, that as of 2:50 p.m. Eastern Time Wednesday, the census reported only 62 machines scanned.