Say it with me slowly, forty million big ones !
That's how much government agencies have saved by deploying open source software in favour of proprietary, and costly licensed technology in government ministries, departments and agencies.
A massive big up is due to the folks at MAMPU and the Open Source Competency Centre (OSCC) for this.
And these are just the ones they know of, not the other open source deployments done without informing OSCC. And they're rightly so to be proud of it in their inaugural newsletter.
What makes this newsletter more phenomenal is that it actually quantifies some of the savings in moving towards open source we've long spoken about. This is a real number, by a real user and a large one at that.
With the economy fast going down the shitter, business and the operations of both the public and the private sector still must go on. And we need software, the lifeblood of the new economy more than ever before. Given these encouraging figures, one would hope that its clear that open source has a role to play in assisting our bootstrap efforts in these times of want.
With us folks in the open souce community learning from our past mistakes, the software we produce is becoming much more user friendly and palatable to the non-technogeek crowd, allowing even mom and pop to partake of gems like OpenOffice.Org and Firefox. The more tech savvy will migrate to MySQL or perhaps even a KDE/Gnome desktop, thus making the transformation complete.
Vendors are beginning to recognize this, with already a couple of them offering Linux-based desktops on their netbook/mini-notebook lines, at a substantial cost savings to the Windows-based versions of the same. Big ups to them too, for finally realising where the demand is.
Given these happenings, its really nice to sit and watch the work of the past couple of decades come to fruition. To know, as my good friend Asohan pointed out, that open source has arrived a while back and is permeating our lives in its own ubiquitous way.