Published at LXer:
LXer Feature: 16-Jan-2007The European Commission's enterprise and industry department just released the final draft (warning: 1,8 MB) of what could be the biggest academic interdisciplinary study on the economic / innovative impacts of FLOSS*. The study was done by an international consortium, led by the United Nations University / University of Maastricht's (NL,EU) department of innovation ; UNU-MERIT for short. The study was prepared by senior researcher Rishab Aiyer Ghosh, who did a tremendous amount of FLOSS studies the last few years, amongst them on FLOSSpols and FLOSSWorld. The academic grade study has a very, very broad scope and has collected real world information that is valuable for both companies and government bodies who are thinking about migration, and decision-makers in the ICT business. The study is about the direct economic impact of FLOSS, but also about the more hidden indirect economical impact of FLOSS, and also compares scenarios of open and proprietary software futures of Europe. In addition to that, the study is also about competitiveness of FLOSS software compared to proprietary software, and also provides a few TCO comparison case-studies. Probably most important, the study gives policy strategies to European government bodies, which can also be very useful for any company or organization. In this article, I'll discuss the key findings of this report, and try to link this with my own knowledge and experience. A must-read for anyone who's willing to Get the real Facts!* In contrary to US articles, European's don't mind the term FLOSS, since English speaking people are only a small minority in today's Europe, and therefore almost nobody associates FLOSS with the dentist. If you do, please don't bother to complain; just change the associations you make.