How Open Source boosts local economy

Dave Neary has published a short essay reasoning how investments in Open Source software are five or six times more valuable than investments in US-produced proprietary software:

And this is where all the TCO arguments coming out of Redmond fall flat on their face. Let’s say, for arguments sake, that installing and supporting GNOME is 20% more expensive overall for the first 5 years you use it. It’s cheaper afterwards, but play along with me for a sec.

So when you spend $100M on Windows, $80M of that leaves the country. You get $20M working for the local economy. When you spend $120M supporting GNOME with local companies, $120M stays in the economy.

I’ve always thought Open Source is local business, which is why we see franchising as the viable growth option, and others seem to agree.

And it is also why the Russian government is investing into building a strong local Open Source business network.