The reason for this page
Ensigma supports Open Source but we realise it is not a panacea and it does not represent to best solution for all problems. However, it's relevence it the world is growing, and, based on our own experiences we believe it is an option that should be considered in many situations.

Whilst the awareness of Open Source software and its benefits is growing many people are still skeptical when they are told that a free product may be as good as, or better than, an expensive proprietory product.

Often clients ask us about the benefits of Open source, or people new to the Open Source community ask us for information. Hence, we decided to compile some resources for you to peruse and form your own opinion.


General Information
Licenses
Here's a great comparison of the Microsoft End-User License Agreement and the GPL license which is used for most Linux code. Below is an interesting snippet from the article relating to legal rights:

It is one of the more generally repeated presumptions of users who select to purchase and operate Microsoft's applications released under the EULA (over corresponding Open Source applications released under the GPL,) that they do so because they have someone to hold legally responsible in case of application software failure or catastrophic error. A close reading of the EULA reveals that the licence explicitly removes all avenues and all recourse that a user of Microsoft's software has for legal relief of any sort. At best, you may recover the cost of the software product, or US$5.

Further,Microsoft's software has ever successfully litigated against Microsoft with respect to application software failure or catastrophic error, in the 27 years of their operation. If you are aware of any such instance, we would welcome full details.


Can Open Source Out-Perform Commercial Products
Apache is a perfect example of a "Best of Breed" tool which is Open Source. It is the most used web server in the world and there are good reasons why....

"With the emergence of the Nimda worm--the latest in a long series to attack Microsoft's Internet Information Server (IIS) and other software--Gartner believes it's time for businesses with Web applications to start investigating less vulnerable Web server products."

Find the whole story here or another good article about the same Gartner recommendation here
The "Total Cost of Ownership" debate
Security
Here is a link to the Security chapter to David Wheeler's paper on Open Source (which is also referenced above)

Specific Issues with IE
WikiPedia has a very good article on some of the issues that exist with IE and a discussion of the ramifications of these. The article can be found Here

Some things Microsoft might not (or at least should not) be proud of
Are Microsoft as lily-white as they would have us believe....

Can Microsoft Convince us Otherwise??
Microsoft have some information of their website which show favourable comparisons where MS products have out-performed their Linux counterparts. It can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/mscorp/facts/default.asp. The quoted figures are almost compelling, the articles themselves are far less so. I don't think many people dispute that there are scenarios in which Windows comes out on top - surprisingly even Microsoft seems to struggle to isolate these cases.