This paper provides quantitative data that, in many cases, using open source software / free software (abbreviated as OSS/FS, FLOSS, or FOSS) is a reasonable or even superior approach to using their proprietary competition according to various measures. This paper’s goal is to show that you should consider using OSS/FS when acquiring software.
This paper examines market share, reliability, performance, scalability, security, and total cost of ownership. It also has sections on non-quantitative issues, unnecessary fears, OSS/FS on the desktop, usage reports, governments and OSS/FS, other sites providing related information, and ends with some conclusions. An appendix gives more background information about OSS/FS. You can view this paper at http://www.dwheeler.com/oss_fs_why.html (HTML format).
A short presentation (briefing) based on this paper is also available. Palm PDA users may wish to use Plucker to view this longer report. Old archived copies and a list of changes are also available.
Why Open Source Software / Free Software (OSS/FS, FOSS, or FLOSS)? Look at the Numbers!