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And remember -- even very good software may not fit your specific needs.

But although most people understand the need to compare proprietary products before using them, many people fail to even consider FLOSS products, or they create policies that unnecessarily inhibit their use; those are errors this paper tries to correct.

It also has sections on non-quantitative issues, unnecessary fears, OSS/FS on the desktop, usage reports, governments and OSS/FS, other sites providing related information, and ends with some conclusions.

An appendix gives more background information about OSS/FS. A short presentation (briefing) based on this paper is also available.

Instead, this paper emphasizes quantitative measures (such as experiments and market studies) to justify why using FLOSS products is in many circumstances a reasonable or even superior approach.

I should note that while I find much to like about FLOSS, I’m not a rabid advocate; I use both proprietary and FLOSS products myself.

Vendors of proprietary products often work hard to find numbers to support their claims; this page provides a useful antidote of hard figures to aid in comparing proprietary products to FLOSS.

Old archived copies and a list of changes are also available.

Instead, I’ll simply compare commonly-used FLOSS software with commonly-used proprietary software, to show that at least in certain situations and by certain measures, some FLOSS software is at least as good or better than its proprietary competition.