quad4b writes "At the International Conference on COTS-based Software Systems in Spain last week, representatives from organizations such at the Software Engineering Institute (remember the CMM), National Research Council of Canada and the European Software Institute discussed the inclusion of Open Source Software for the first time on the conference agenda. COTS software includes stuff like commercial operating systems, desktop software, and ERP systems among others. The conference examined best practices for integrating these pre-built components in systems development efforts. They conceded that open source software is essentially no different from commercially built software and that both types have their risks in terms of supportability and security. (what opponents of OSS say is its weakness) Interestingly enough, a senior representative of IBM was present and discussed with some of us, over lunch, how IBM is determined to move to an open desktop based on Linux and OpenOffice within about a year."