Open Source Software bringing down hardware costs?

Ever wanted a very serious server for cheap? Here’s one way: Build a quad-core, 8-gig server for $900. It runs Linux. You’d have to a few hundred bucks (at least) if you wanted it to run Windows, though.

Remember the 1980s? When everyone was investing big bucks in their own PBX systems? Well, guess what. One open source project, Asterisk, is changing that entire (big) business. Here’s Forbes’ take on the new world of open source PBX, Dial D for Disruption.

We’ve had these incredibly great, vastly powerful, little PCs sitting on our desks for the past quarter century, and most of the cycles have been going to running solitaire or screen savers. The great thing about open source is that it gives smart people ways to figure out how to make all these great computers actually DO things of value, especially things that previously would have required expenditures of hundreds of thousands of dollars for specialized (that is, proprietary) hardware and software.

At the very least, I hope developments like these will spur the big, established firms into action in the R&D front. Because too many have gotten used to slapping their software into COTS components, slapping their logos on the boxes, and shipping them out to big, deep-pocketed companies. If you can build your own, adequate, PBX for $100, then commercial PBX vendors need to start building better–much better–PBXs.

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