Bill Vass, formerly Sun Microsystems' CIO and now president and COO of Sun Federal, has a bird's eye view of open-source adoption within the U.S. federal government. So when I read Bill waxing rhapsodic about the rapid rise of open source within the Beltway, I've got to cheer:
More and more we are seeing the federal government move towards open source due to its increased security, reduced procurement times, large scalability...reduced cost to the taxpayers, and escape from vendor lock-in.
Open source will just continue to grow as the world moves to open storage (low-cost hardware with open-source storage management software that makes it perform as well as high-cost proprietary storage devices), open network (low-cost hardware with open-source VoIP, routing, and switching software that make it perform as well as high-cost proprietary network devices) and open-source virtualization (xVM and Xen cloud computing without the cost of proprietary virtualization and management software).
We've come a long way, and we still have a ways to go. But Bill is right: the way forward is to continue to offer the enterprise--including federal agencies--increased value for their money. That is a winning strategy in tough economic circumstances.