Figures about Free Software companies this year

Alessandro Rubini rubini at
Fri Nov 13 09:58:33 UTC 2009

>> I have got some kind of success story in a company where I work. It
>> manufactures different server solutions, network attached storages and
>> so on. Because of financial crisis it was not able to pay for very
>> expensive proprietary software for those NASes.
>> [...]

> That's really good news

Yes and no. It depends on how you depict it. It might as well be good
news for our opponents, they could well say that free software is only
a second-tier choice, and who is successfull in business wouldn't even
consider it.  Besides, all the stories of "switching to FS" support
this idea that FS is only coming later, copying what real men have
been doing.

Please note I'm not saying it's bad news, I'm just throwing in a
different point of view: it is not my onw POV but it's not
uncommon, either.

Back to the original questions, my experience is that all innovative
companies have problems. As soon as there is recession (or even also
talk of recession) people start buying less instrumentation.  If your
company would benefit from new machinery but you know you'll have cash
shortage, you just continue working with your old production line.
You delay the upgrade or even also the routine maintainance of your
assets. So tech companies suffer more than the rest.

A mate who builds carboard boxes confirms it: as soon as there is some
crisis, there is a sudden drop in orders of big boxes, the ones for
engines and industrial machinery (and we know that bit-oriented
technological stuff is in the same expense item as atom-oriented
machinery, in the industry).

That said, when a market sector is expanding, a crisis just means it
expands less, so I wouldn't be surprised if the drop in FS market
would be less than corresponding proprietary sectors or technological
stuff in general.


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