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Support remains the weak link in open source software adoption

Even with concern about support, a stagnant economy is helping drive more IT professionals toward OSS.

Acceptance of open source by IT professionals continues to increase, according to a recent survey that shows the slumping economy helped boost that trend.report released this week by Zenoss gave the results of surveys about open source software among IT professionals who attended the USENIX Large Installation System Administration Conference in the fall and the Zenoss open source systems management community.lack of support for open source software was a significant weak spot - and a significant plus for proprietary software. The increase of "support model" business models in the open source community is beginning to address that.

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Naturally, most of these IT professionals already were using open source software (98 percent). The price point was a major factor overall — 71 percent of Zenoss community members cited cost savings as a factor, while 52.4 percent of USENIX respondents pointed to cost. But cost wasn't the only factor — 73.9 percent of Zenoss respondents  and 52.4 percent of USENIX respondents cited OSS' flexibility as a primary reason to use it.

As pointed out on another recent survey, the

The survey, and other similar reports, show there is a need for the support model businesses, and perhaps can alleviate the concerns of those in the open source community who believe all software should be free, and those who believe the code should be free, but that they deserve to be able to make a living from their work.

A complete version of the survey is available in PDF here. (Graphic via Zenoss.)

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