Doing a Newham : Why Open Source remains closed

That's apparently a new term that some IT administrators are learning and pragmatically applying to get steep discounts from software vendors.

"Doing a Newham" has been coined after the London Borough of Newham was rumoured to have brandished the Linux argument in order to bring software licensing costs of a well-known software mammoth down by a significant amount.

This was one of the interesting points that ZDNet found out during an investigation on how some proprietary vendors "motivate" their customers to keep open source projects under wraps.

Companies and corporate entities are reluctant to openly show their allegiance to open source or to acknowledge publicly having adopted open source. Some apparent sweeteners, motivators and even arm twisting tactics are controversial to say the least, but as one interviewee said, they are all "tricks in the book".

Proponents of Open Source face an "Omerta" or the law of the silence as very few in the corporate world seem willing to talk openly about what seems to be more and more of a widespread problem.

The case of the German town of Munich is one of the best known examples where an organisation publicises a Linux adoption and then gets heavily pressurised to change its decision. The debacle clearly illustrates the length that some companies like Microsoft will go to try and avoid losing customers.

Linux and the open source movement might be winning battles when it comes to security, licensing fees, stability and reliability but when it comes to marketing and sales strategy, they are unfortunately still minnows.