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Thursday, August 11, 2005

Unhappiness drives open source adoption

A common reason why more governments and enterprises around the world are moving to open source software is unhappiness, it was revealed during a panel discussion at the LinuxWorld Conference in San Francisco yesterday.

Google Inc open source programs manager Chris DiBona said the search giant has stuck with Linux throughout the company's life, in part, because it was unhappy with the terms of another software company.

For instance, DiBona pointed out that if Google used Windows, or any other non-open source software program, to make changes to that system he would be required to essentially ask permission from that vendor. "Why should we hand over the control of our software support to another company?"

Other benefits of Linux for Google was being able to determine exactly what was running on any server at any given time and being able to plan what kind of power that machine would have, according to DiBona. This would not be possible, he said, using proprietary software. "Worse than that, if I want to expand ... I have to rip things out. But why would I want to spend money on something for which I only want to use a small part?"

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