IT managers may "paint" proprietary software shops as villains because of high licensing fees, and many "hope that open source will be the David that stops these software Goliaths." Even so, when you ask open source companies, it's not an "us vs. them" battle, InfoWorld says. Red Hat corporate development VP Mike Evans clarifies:
The majority of Red Hat people do not wake up in the morning saying, "how do I hurt Microsoft," or "how do I hurt Oracle," or whoever it is. They look at how they can make a better piece of technology for the market and for their customers.
And though low costs have been a driver for the growing number of open source and free software products, particularly in the education space -- where tomorrow's end users are developing their preferences -- it isn't all about the money. As Bintex principal analyst T.H. Wood points out:
The majority of our customers are not choosing open source based purely on expense.
Open source in the enterprise is increasingly evaluated not only on price but also on what it can do for the customer. Is the particular application under consideration the best technology for your business purposes?
It seems that we'll know open source has truly "arrived" when the distinction between open source and proprietary ceases to be relevant in the purchasing decision except for the differences in price that may result.