Is Open Software the BEST way to unlock the value of IT? Ask someone objective.

That scraping sound you hear is the sound of my soapbox being dragged out of the corner.
Ask the head of the OSI (Open Source Initiative) whether Open Source is the best way to unlock the value of IT (Information Technology), and what answer do you expect? Right.
How about an opinion from someone who really wants to use open source? From someone who’s technically inclined? From someone who has an organization that specializes in implementing technology for clients?
How about my opinion, for example?
Here goes: open source is definitely coming of age. In the next few years (0.5 to 3 or so), I expect that you’ll see a number of businesses move toward open source. In today’s world, say “open source,” and the product that comes to everyone’s lips is “Linux.” So the experience you have with Linux may tend to rub off on everything else that’s open source.
And here goes: I’ve installed the Debian and Ubuntu versions of Red Hat on several machines (and virtual machines). The installation goes fine. The operating system comes up. I can use email, web browser, and the Open Office suite (word processor, spreadsheet, presentation graphics, etc.). As long as I’m working with what comes in the box, I’m Ok.
Now I need to use a wireless adapter to connect to my home network on Debian. Debian doesn’t come with a compatible adapter. Begin an endless circle of trying to find websites with the correct (and up-to-date) information about how to re-compile the kernel or build a self-contained and self-loading package with wireless support. I’m sure I could have figured it out, but
after 2-3 hours invested in it, I’m not sure it’s worth it.
So I load Ubuntu. It comes up and recognizes my wireless adapter. Problem: I have WEP ennabled, and the wireless adapter driver in Ubuntu doesn’t seem to like it. Begin another endless search on the Internet.
So one of the guys here gives me a copy of Fedora…
Linux isn’t the only open source software. Because it’s an operating system and has to interface directly with the hardware, it’s probably not even a good example to use or to compare others to, but it illustrates the issue with open source.
Here’s the reality: once open source goes mainstream–really, truly mainstream as in millions of desktops–problems like this will go away. Someone will pay somebody like me to figure out how to make it work, or to write software to make it work, and then it will be contributed to the public domain.
As for now, in order to avoid the issues I’m having with Linux, I’ll pay for my operating system.
Is Open Source the Best way to Unlock the Value of IT?