The 451 Group has found that while many vendors consider small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to be a hot market for adopting open-source software, the SMB market opportunity for open-source software vendors actually is limited. The group, which focuses on the business of enterprise IT innovation, believes SMB customers are highly cost-conscious and generally lack the IT resources to effectively manage anything beyond the simplest open-source software. The 451 Group sees Microsoft's dominance in the SMB market as "a significant barrier for many open-source software vendors attempting to infiltrate this market, and that is unlikely to change anytime soon," adding the prevalence of Windows and Office, and the sheer number of IT experts with MCSE certification means most SMBs will continue to use the technology they know, even if that means adjusting internal business processes to meet the technology available. As such, open-source software that integrates with and supports Windows and other Microsoft products will have an advantage among SMBs.
I was at an IAMCP event last night discussing whether Web 2.0 apps and open-source like Google Apps, IBM's Lotus Symphony, OpenOffice.org would unseat Microsoft. One guy was mad I didn't agree with him -- and this survey kind of proves my point.
People do NOT like change. Most are technophobic so when they get used to something, they stick with it. UNLESS something Remarkable comes along that can unseat that anxiety, like the iPod or the DVD player.
It's a tough hump to get over - changing what people have - that's why you have to find the Pain Point. Once you isolate the Pain, you can get them open to a Solution. (Read more stuff like this in my upcoming book, SELLECOM. It is in final edit now and should be released by mid-January. Pre-order it to save $5!)