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Linux 2003
Conference and Tutorials
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Thurs 31st July - Sun 3rd August 2003
Edinburgh, Scotland

Andrew Nicolson - Southampton Institute

Not Fired for Buying Linux? Quirks of Open Source Adopters' worldviews

Paper (text)

Linux now extends to the organisational desktop. User requirements and decision-making (such as whether to change to a new operating system, application suite, or windowing environment) will have a growing impact on projects.

This paper presents results from a close study of the actual words and thought processes of decision makers adopting or rejecting a Linux and Open Source software environment for their organisations' IT, in a context of change management.

  • What is the make-up of the bundle of reasons that support their decisions?
  • Is the decision made rationally?
  • Is it based on a cost/benefit analysis?
  • Are the factors that the Free/Open Source community considers important actually significant to the decision makers?

This talk not only describes what we found out, but how we discovered it.

What this leads to is a fresh approach to setting and reviewing goals for Free/Open Source projects that is more traceable to the needs and values of those who will use the software, but may not fall into the marketing traps experienced by proprietary off-the-shelf software products like feature bloat, buggy releases and planned obsolescence.


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