Open-source software may actually be open-wallet software

By guest author Steven Levy of Lexician.

Recently the Association of Corporate Counsel hosted a session titled “”Inexpensive/Free Applications for Your Law Department.” The speakers extolled the virtues of open source software as “free applications.”

Every parent understands that there is no such thing as a free puppy.

The acquisition (license) cost of software is rarely the largest slice of the pie. There are data center costs, IT costs, training costs, and the cost of incompatibility, among other issues. In addition, it costs money and time to try out various software packages, and IT may restrict what is allowed to run on the corporate network.

And you may already have some of the touted tools. For example, both Word 2007 and Open Office Writer 1.1 can save directly to PDF format; you don’t need to purchase an add-on.

Reducing the cost of technology means reducing the total cost of owning and using technology, not just the up-front cost.

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