IDC Finds 71% of Developers Use Open Source

This is a study I mentioned during a presentation at the 2006 Carolina URISA/GITA meeting, so I thought I’d post some additional details here.

The IDC surveyed over 5000 developers from 117 different countries and found out a couple of surprising things:

  • 71% of the developers surveyed said they use open source software.
  • 54% of the developers are using open source software in production.
I figured the general estimates I’d seen for open source usage among developers was probably low, because the mechanisms for tracking software that is distributed freely aren’t terribly good. But I really didn’t expect the numbers to be that high!

If you are a developer and you don’t use open source software, you are in the minority.

According to the IDC’s report:
The study declares that open source software represents the most significant all-encompassing and long-term trend that the software industry has seen since the early 1980s. IDC believes that open source will eventually play a role in the life-cycle of every major software category, and will fundamentally change the value proposition of packaged software for customers.

The actual IDC report costs (a lot of) money, but you can read summaries of it at various places online, such as here and here.