My brother-in-law has, I swear, been trying to goad me for the past couple of days over twitter. Actually, I'm probably just personalizing, but it's funnier this way. Also, because of the well-known limitations of twitter, I could only post this as a response.

It pains me to say this, because I have it on good authority that Matt Asay is a smart guy, and Alfresco is a good company. But all I could think of when I read this article was "DUH!, you don't think that's already occurred to people??"

This article pissed me off because the author thinks that he's coming up with something new. He thinks that "we should emphasize the cheapness" is something revolutionary that he just thought of, rather than something that was debated 20 god-damn years ago. We (being the Open Source community) tried that already.

In response, Microsoft came out with Gartner Group bullshit ^H^H^H^H^H^H^H "studies" that came up with concepts like "Total Cost of Ownership" to show that, even though Linux was 100% free, it somehow cost more to maintain than NT and IIS.

And, to an extent, they're right. In certain cases, it is cheaper to run a web server off of Windows and IIS, rather than setting up your own LAMP stack. So, honestly, his argument is actually pretty bogus.

Besides. Cost is a relative thing. IT departments don't care as much about the upfront dollar cost of a piece of software. They care about how well they know it, and how it integrates into their environment. Cost is probably third or 4th on their list of considerations. I don't care how much windows costs, if you have a big IT department, it's going to be cheaper than training all your techs to be Linux experts.


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19 June 2009