I read an article this morning by Bruce Byfield on itmanagement.com outlining some of the commonly-held myths pertaining to open source. Besides being a well-written summary of what many of our proprietary-based competitors throw at us, the article resonated with me due to a conversation I had this weekend with relatives at a family get-together, during which I had the dubious task of explaining what SugarCRM does and what open source means.
But an impression was made, because despite my audiences’ lack of software expertise, they quickly picked up on the notions by associating open source with recent mainstream announcements, such as Wal-Mart’s decision to sell PCs loaded with open source alternatives for $300 and less or telecom companies, such as Verizon, opening up their cell phone platforms to developers. Even those relatives and friends that were a little more tech-savvy understood many of the advantages associated with the open source model.
The points made by Byfield underscore the conversation I had with relatives. Open source is becoming a commonly-accepted, mainstream notion, and with it, myths such as these will become part of folklore.