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How Open Source Can Help Real People

The success of open source is undeniable. Just about any website you visit today is running on some kind of open source software. Your shiny new Mac is running FreeBSD under its beautiful surface.  Google uses open source software.  So does Facebook.  Yet if you mention open source software to most people, they probably will give you a blank look. Few non-technies know what it is, even though they use it countless times everyday.

So: Can open source developers create software that directly benefit people, instead of wait for either implementers or the likes of Apple, Google, not to mention  Microsoft and Oracle, to do it with our code?

If you answer “No,” then please stop reading this post – it’s not for you.

If you answer “Yes,” like we did, then here are some of my thoughts on how we can do it.  Please tell me what you think.

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Open Source ERP + CRM in the Cloud: opentaps and Amazon EC2

Cloud computing and open source applications is a great combination.  You get all the benefits of the cloud: easy to deploy, easy to maintain, low upfront and long-term infrastructure costs.  But you also get all the benefits of open source: flexibility, low cost applications, and control — control of your software and most importantly, your data.

When you bring the two together, you also get a third benefit: Getting up and running with open source in the cloud is amazingly easy.  For example, take a look at how easy it is to start up opentaps Open Source ERP + CRM in the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) cloud:

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