My massive quantitative study on free software gets an update

My massive quantitative study on free software gets an update

My paper “Why OSS/FS? Look at the Numbers!” is a massive collection of quantitative studies on free software, with the goal to “show that you should consider using OSS/FS when acquiring software”. It has a large set of different studies grouped into the categories market share, reliability, performance, scalability, security, and total cost of ownership.

If you need evidence, not anecdotes, it’s been the place to go. But it was last updated in 2005, so the latest information hasn’t been included. Finally, a brand-new 2007 edition is available, with lots of additions.

A blog entry notes some of the changes. This includes:

  1. a major new European Commission-sponsored study, “Study on the Economic impact of open source software on innovation and the competitiveness of the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) sector in the EU” of 2006
  2. a quantitative comparison of ’unsafe’ days for Firefox and Internet Explorer in 2006
  3. a link toapproved European Parliament resolution A5-0264/2001 which calls “on the Commission and Member States to promote software projects whose source text is made public (open-source software), as this is the only way of guaranteeing that no backdoors are built into programmes [and calls] on the Commission to lay down a standard for the level of security of e-mail software packages, placing those packages whose source code has not been made public in the ‘least reliable’ category”

You can see the paper on my websiteahere.



Anonymous visitor's picture
Submitted by Anonymous visitor (not verified) on

Thank you for making your work available to the world. Your paper has enlightened the world back in 2005. We thank you again for updating the numbers to make the paper relevant for today.

A Free Software advocate

Laurie Langham's picture

This article demonstrates that Microsoft's market share claims have a bigger credibility gap than a White House press release on Iraq.

M$: unethical, immoral, anti-social, and power-mad.

Alan Berg's picture
Submitted by Alan Berg on

Seeing your name on an article gives me an opportunity to say that I am a great fan of your elegantly simple sloccount tool.

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David A Wheeler's picture


David A. Wheeler is the author of "Why Open Source Software / Free Software? Look at the Numbers!", "Secure Programming for Linux and Unix HOWTO", and many other works. His personal website is at