[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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