Opening the door to Open Source

As open-source software (OSS) gains respect in the eyes of the mainstream computer user with success stories such as Firefox, Java, Linux, and MediaWiki (the software used by Wikipedia), more businesses are turning to open-source software as legitimate answers to their software needs.

Common commercial office tools such as MS Office, PhotoShop, and MS Project continue to dominate the market, but open-source alternatives like OpenOffice, Gimpshop, and OpenProj are making waves. Even ERP and CRM behemoths Oracle and SAP are starting to face stiff competition from popular open-source solutions such as OpenBravo and SugarCRM.

Other industry giants are feeling the heat, too—earlier this month, Apple, which has long flirted with giving the public access to its source code, came under increased pressure to open the code for its best-selling iPhone after Google introduced Android, its new open-source platform for mobile phones. Google then upped the ante with a $10 million prize for the best applications created for Android by the user community.

Clearly the lack of a pricey license plan lures many prospective users to open-source software. However, according to Actuate‘s 2007 survey of enterprise adoption of open source, there are other significant advantages, as well:

The second tier of main perceived benefits are flexibility (48.4%) and access to source code (47.1%). These are followed by vendor independence (38.7%), not being locked into Microsoft (38.7%), being built on open platforms (35.3%), standards-based technology (32.5%) and scalability (30.5%).

To be sure, adoption of OSS has yet to ‘break through’. A perceived lack of security is a major reason businesses tend to stay with commercial software (a topic we’ll discuss in a future blog post), but the most common reason is a lack of awareness: A third of those surveyed simply hadn’t looked into using open-source software.

At PrestaShop, we’re convinced the “massive groundswell”1 toward OSS adoption by business will only expand in the next few years. Soon enough, the process of obtaining software will be flipped on its head: businesses will first consider open-source applications, and will then purchase ‘closed’ software only if it presents a unique long-term advantage.


  • Open-source projects in the Office & Business category on SourceForge
  • Top open-source applications for both Windows and Mac

PrestaShop Improves Its Free Open-Source e-Commerce Solution

Paris, France (PRWEB) November 8, 2007 — PrestaShop, a leader in open-source e-Commerce, announced today the release of an important update to its free e-Commerce software as well as the unveiling of its newly redesigned Website, PrestaShop.com.

PrestaShop™ e-Commerce software v0.85 features improved English and French translations, database modeling, and usability, as well as a Chinese translation and new module versions for Paypal™ and Google™ Sitemap. Numerous bugs have also been repaired.

A professional open-source solution

With more than $100 billion in revenues in the U.S. in 2006, and with Europe and Asia on track for a 50% increase in year-on-year sales for 2007, e-Commerce is attracting increasing numbers of traditional brick-and-mortar business owners hoping to expand their online presence.

Some small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) cast a wary eye on open-source software, concerned that it can be difficult to use and not sophisticated enough to handle their business needs.

However, the PrestaShop e-Commerce solution is as powerful as it is user-friendly. Feature for feature, PrestaShop is as robust as commercial e-Commerce software.

For example, visitors to the online shop enjoy:

  • Price reductions
  • Gift vouchers
  • Free-shipping minimums
  • Text-message alerts
  • Recommended accessories (cross-selling)
  • The chance to order out-of-stock items

On the back end, store owners control:

  • Unlimited products
  • Unlimited currencies
  • Unlimited tax settings
  • Unlimited shipping rates, zones, and destinations
  • Unlimited languages

(For a full list of features, consult the PrestaShop Features list.)

“We’re creating an adaptable, full-featured ‘turn-key’ Web store that even novice computer users can employ and manage easily,” said Bruno Lévêque, PrestaShop CEO. “And because PrestaShop is open-source, our developers and the enthusiastic PrestaShop user community team up to offer troubleshooting advice, added functionality, and regular bug fixes.”

Assistance for Internet shop owners

For users looking to get more out of their online businesses, PrestaShop also offers custom-built solutions by adapting PrestaShop software to their specific needs, such as unique functionality and attractive Web storefronts.

PrestaShop can also host customer Websites on their servers, and help create additional visitor traffic with its Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

About PrestaShop

Founded in Paris, France, by Internet enthusiasts and e-Commerce professionals Igor Schlumberger and Bruno Lévêque, PrestaShop aspires to provide the best open-source e-Commerce solution to the greatest number of business owners worldwide, thus helping to democratize the e-Commerce sector.

Sourceforge.net project page: sourceforge.net/projects/prestashop

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