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South Africas Open Source Software Market Builds on the Government’s Adoption of FOSS Policy

Cape Town. – November 1, 2007 – While the South African open source software (OSS) market is still in its development stage, the recent decision by the South African Government to adopt a Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) policy is a significant boost for the industry.

New analysis from growth consulting company Frost & Sullivan (http://www.ITservices.frost.com), South African Open Source Software Market, finds that both the public and private sectors will benefit from the expansion of OSS, as the cost reductions realised will not only encourage the start up of new businesses, but will also allow the government to channel resources to much needed areas such as healthcare and education.

"OSS provides South Africa with an alternative to the costly applications of proprietary software vendors," notes Frost & Sullivan Industry Analyst Lindsey Mc Donald. "The government’s adoption of the FOSS policy is a major driver for this market, as OSS will be used at all levels of the government where it is comparable to or more suitable than proprietary software."

Furthermore, OSS allows users to enhance and customise applications according to their use. There is a high level of collaboration among OSS developers and the government policy should serve to further increase collaboration in this market. This in turn will result in the development of applications uniquely suited to the South African environment.

However, a general lack of awareness is threatening the extensive use of OSS.

"Many potential users are not aware of the benefits or capabilities of OSS," says Mc Donald. "These include the potential to customise it for any purpose and the availability of the source code to all users. Additionally, there is a perceived lack of support for OSS software."

While this is true in some cases, a growing number of companies are also offering OSS support and customisation services.

Overall, market participants need to challenge the view that OSS is simply for technology enthusiasts. The practical benefits of OSS should receive more attention. Focusing on the strengths of OSS rather than the alleged weaknesses of proprietary software would be a positive manner in which to promote the use of OSS.

If you are interested in a virtual brochure, which provides manufacturers, end users and other industry participants with an overview of the latest analysis of the South African Open Source Software Market, then send an e-mail to Patrick Cairns, Corporate Communications, at patrick.cairns@frost.com with your full name, company name, title, telephone number, fax number and e-mail address. Upon receipt of the above information, an overview will be sent to you by e-mail.

South African Open Source Software Market is part of the IT Services & Applications Growth partnership Services. The study examines market drivers and restraints and details the expected trends for the next two to six years. An analysis of key competitors provides the reader with in-depth market information. Interviews with the press are available.

Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Consulting Company, partners with clients to accelerate their growth. The company's Growth Partnership Services, Growth Consulting and Career Best Practices empower clients to create a growth focused culture that generates, evaluates and implements effective growth strategies. Frost & Sullivan employs over 45 years of experience in partnering with Global 1000 companies, emerging businesses and the investment community from more than 30 offices on six continents. For more information about Frost & Sullivan’s Growth Partnerships, visit http://www.frost.com.

South African Open Source Software Market
M160

Contact:

Patrick Cairns
Corporate Communications – Africa
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Mireya Castilla
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