Economic plight boosts Linux adoption
In our second podcast we pondered whether the dodgy economic outlook could actually bring more users to Linux and free software. With everyone afraid to open their wallets, surely software that has an initial zero cost is much more attractive for businesses looking to move on from legacy software, right? And home desktop users -- how many of those will really want to splash out on the much-hyped Windows 7 when it comes out, if things get worse?
Of course, there are many other factors in play here: many users may choose to stick it out with XP, even sacrificing their security when Microsoft ends support for that OS. Businesses prefer to focus on TCO rather than initial acquisition cost -- and they have to throw possible retraining costs into the equation too. So it's not easy to predict what will happen, but there's a real argument that Linux adoption could be helped by the gloomy financial situation we're in. To get a handle on this, IDC did a survey of IT managers to find out just what they're thinking.
InformationWeek reports that 65% of the survey's 330 respondents plan to increase their Linux server usage over the next year, while 63% aim to expand their Linux desktop usage. These figures are particularly intriguing when you consider this figure: 62% of the businesses surveyed said that their IT budgets had been cut, or that they were having to tread extremely carefully. Hit the link above for more stats juggling and quotes from some survey-takers.