Open source vendors have long hyped the idea that open source is going "mainstream," but in this year's survey 60 percent of the respondents are end users, which means that users are acknowledging that, too, said Michael Skok, conference chairman and a general partner at North Bridge Venture Partners, which conducted the survey.
This is the fifth annual survey for OSBC. Skok notes that six years ago, CIOs and IT staff "didn't understand what open source was or how to deal with it." At the same time, vendors weren't prepared to answer their questions.
Today, user confidence in open source is strong, and earlier concerns about complicated open source licensing or company policies against open source are no longer relevant, he says. "People were scared that they'd have things like code leakage or copyright violations. That's not coming up at all," Skok says.
In this survey, for the first time, the No. 1advantage respondents see to open source is avoiding software vendor lock-in, which replaced lower costs, the previous No. 1 advantage. The No. 2 advantage is lower costs compared with licensed software, and No. 3 is flexibility.