The interesting part was that it mentioned open source software, but is a way that shows an understanding gap in the article author. Here was the relevant part:
In the private sector, tight budgets for information technology spark innovation. But bureaucrats are suckers for overpriced, overpromised and over engineered systems. The contrast is all the sharper given some of the successes shown by those using open-source software: the District of Columbia, for example, has junked its servers and propietary software in favor of the standard package of applications offered and hosted by Google.
I find this reference interesting for two reasons:
One is that open source software is getting more recognition in the main stream media. I wrote on Techrepublic last month how I think 2008 will be the year of the open source CMS.
Secondly, and more curious is the public (and I’ll put the Economist author in this group) misconception of open source. The article is talking about Google Apps for domain, like Gmail and Google Docs. This stuff is *free*, but not open source. In fact its hosted and thus safe from any future GPL changes because of the"ASP loophole" that the GPL 3 did not close.
I can’t imagine Google making Gmail open source…. how would it buy the next YouTube?
What do you think "the man in the street" thinks open source software is?