David A. Wheeler's Blog

Wed, 07 Jul 2004

New release of “Why OSS/FS? Look at the Numbers!”

I’ve made a new release of my paper “Why Open Source Software / Free Software (OSS/FS)? Look at the Numbers!” It’s a tome, and getting even longer, as more stuff becomes available. This is basically a minor release, with various small additions and improvements here and there. Here are some highlights:
  1. I’ve added references to the interesting paper Linux Adoption in the Public Sector: An Economic Analysis by Hal R. Varian and Carl Shapiro (University of California, Berkeley; 1 December 2003).
  2. I’ve also added lots of information on the major Microsoft Internet Explorer vulnerability that’s been undergoing a lot of press. IE has been undergoing some really nasty exploitation as of mid June 2004, and Microsoft only released a “fix” on July 2, 2004; but Microsoft had NINE MONTHS to fix it, and didn’t. OSS customers can patch their systems, but a proprietary customer doesn’t have that option. A proprietary vendor that ignores such a nasty vulnerability for that long is performing a nearly criminal act; they’re at least aiding criminals. That’s especially crazy because Microsoft has said they’ve been working hard on security since 2002; I think that’s probably true, but this sure is a SCARY lapse. CERT and SANS recommend switching away from IE as one of the options for IE users.
  3. I added a reference to the Indian presidential announcement about OSS/FS.
  4. Added a link to the COSPA project
  5. Fixed typos, per very helpful comments from Ian McIntosh.

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