Why doesn't normal people find Open Source Software?

I spoke to a customer today. He’s head of the IT department for a middle-sized organization with 6000 users.

He had a project going on with the goal of finding and implementing a document management system for the whole organization.

The project group had reported back to him telling him that they had found three (yes, 3) candidates, and that the candidate they thought was best was some Microsoft product.

He was a little bit puzzled that they only had found three candidates. I had to agree, so I immediately made a quick search on Freshmeat for document management and got 105 hits.

I think this reflects a problem that the open source world has to pay more attention to - people don’t know that there are alternatives to the products from Microsoft and the other big companies with large PR budgets.

Written on November 7, 2006