Companies expect open-source desktop software

On the same day that programmers released version 2 of, survey results showed a significant opportunity for the open-source rival to Microsoft Office.

By 2010, 22 percent of companies surveyed by Saugatuck Technology expect their core desktop productivity programs will be open-source software. The survey polled more than 100 senior executives, about 80 percent in the United States and the rest from other parts of the world.

"That's a big number when you consider Microsoft has about 95 percent market share," said Saugatuck president Bill McNee.

Among areas, 28 percent said open-source software would at the core of their operating system software by 2010, 28 percent for development tools, 26 percent for application servers and 24 percent for database software.

The survey also showed a significant willingness to use open-source software for core business applications that handle a company's critical computing tasks such as accounting and customer relationship management, with 20 percent saying they expected to use open-source software by 2010. "That blew me away," McNee said of the result.

The survey also polled users on where they expected not to use open-source software. The category with the most reluctance there was database software, where 34 percent said they wouldn't use open-source software by 2010. Next was desktop productivity software, where 27 percent said they'd stay away.

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