Friday, April 17, 2009

Return on Investment has a great calculator for assessing the investment made into open source projects. It takes a project and analyses its code, then works out how much it would cost to pay a developer (at $55,000k/yr) to produce an equivalent project. Some of the projects took even me by surprise: got a spare US$150m? You could commission an Office suite. If your fortunes have waned a little in the recessionary times and you only US$15m sitting round, you can buy yourself a graphic manipulation project similar to Photoshop. It makes Firefox seem like a bargain at only US$840,000!!
Some of my other favourite projects are listed below:

Open Office:




However you look at it, these numbers are a ringing endorsement of the open source model. Individuals, groups and organisations contributing a few hours (or dollars) here and there can pull together teams that dwarf most software development companies, simply by harnessing the power of community. But the great thing is that for the end user, it's all free.

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