[svlug] 19% Of Small- And Medium-Sized Businesses Use Linux On The Desktop!
Mark S Bilk
mark at cosmicpenguin.com
Fri Jul 25 05:04:00 PDT 2003
SMBs shun Microsoft for open source
Jupiter survey discovers Linux deployments on the rise
By Stacy Cowley, IDG News Service July 16, 2003
NEW YORK - Some price-sensitive small and midsize businesses
(SMBs) are turning to Linux and other open-source products
as a lower-cost alternative to Microsoft Corp.'s ubiquitous
business software, Jupiter Research found in a recent study.
Surveying several hundred businesses of less than 1,000
employees, Jupiter found that 19 percent are using some
form of Linux on their desktop computers. Six percent said
they use OpenOffice, an open-source suite of productivity
applications, with an additional 3 percent reporting plans to
deploy it in their next fiscal year, according to Joe Wilcox,
a Washington, D.C.-based Jupiter Research senior analyst.
The sticker shock associated with Microsoft products,
and the increasing ease of accessing open-source software,
are leading small businesses owners to try products like the
free OpenOffice and Red Hat Inc.'s Linux distribution, Wilcox
said. Small businesses often buy their software at retail
outlets, and when Red Hat's Linux distribution is on sale
next to the latest version of Microsoft's Windows operating
system for a quarter of the cost, the price difference can
lead thrifty shoppers to test the cheaper option, he noted.
"At the very smallest end of the market, the buying pattern
of businesses is very similar to that of consumers. They're
more willing to experiment," he said. "They're very
price-conscious, and the (logistical) impact of bringing
Linux into a company with three employees or five employees
is pretty minimal compared to bringing it to an enterprise
with thousands of employees."
As Microsoft looks to win more business from the SMB
market, it also faces obstacles in the way it's perceived:
52 percent of those surveyed by Jupiter said Microsoft is
focused mainly on its own interests, with just 4 percent
saying the company is focused on customer interests.
"Small businesses don't feel that Microsoft is addressing
their needs. When you look at the fragmentation of the
market, they may also be telling Microsoft the same thing
in their buying," Wilcox said.
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