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IT directors should prioritise open source evaluation, says analyst

During 2007 IT directors should start putting open source software on the shortlist of products to evaluate.

Speaking earlier today at the ITxpo conference, David Cearley, Gartner research vice-president, said, “Open source has invaded the DNA of proprietary software. The days of vendors milking maintenance revenues are over.”

Cearley said recent developments in the open source community such as Oracle offering a supported version of Red Hat and Microsoft supporting Novell’s Linux, shows how proprietary software makers are now taking open source technology seriously.

He said Linux was a reality as a server operating system and was set to eclipse proprietary Unix as more users switched to open source.

He told IT directors to look closely at open source development tools, since such tools are regarded by Gartner as highly mature. “The web is driving open source development tools maturity,” Cearley said.

Other areas growing in maturity, according to Cearley, include open source application servers and collaboration software. However, Cearley said he did not see desktop Linux as a viable alternative to Windows. Cearley also warned that open source application software was still in its infancy.

“It will be quite some time before we see a lot of movement in open source applications.”

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