Free as in beer matters – Free as in freedom does not

Forrester has released a report titled “Open Source Software Goes Mainstream.” The report is based on responses from over 1,100 software development decision makers in North American and European enterprises and SMBs.

The report says that a consistent increase in interest points to a second wave of OSS adoption, this time led by mainstream development organizations.  The report however also makes the following note, highlighting that although usage of free and open source software might be increasing, the reasons for the growth might be solely monetary and not ethical or philosophical as is widely believed.

For most developers, the end matters more than the means. Forrester has seen this trend in multiple surveys over the past two years. For the vast majority of application development professionals, OSS is simply a means to an end.

Most developers don’t really care that OSS is libre (free as in freedom); they care that it’s gratis (free as in beer). If there’s a direct relationship between an OSS component and the top three planning goals from our recent survey, developers will tactically adopt it. If not, most won’t adopt OSS for its own sake.

Ref – infoworld

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