I just retweeted an interesting article about testing done to measure the number of defects in various kinds of software, including open source. There were outstanding examples where the error rate was ridiculously low. (If you aren't subscribed to my Twitter account, then you should subscibe now.) It's worth a read.
Of course, this comes as no surprise to me. Once I broke free of the proprietary software bonds I've found that in general this software just works better for me. Yeah, sometimes I have to dig for technique, but once I understand the technique there aren't usually too many more surprises. It just works. It's logical to me that software that works would be low in defects.
This made me think about something else that I encountered recently. There is a radio ad that talks about what to do if your employer is using pirated software. You turn them in, of course, and maybe qualify for a cash reward. (This may limit your future in the company, but I guess you were on your way out anyway.)
I have a crazy alternative. What if, rather than busting your employer, generating fines and maybe prosecution, you used this as an opportunity to introduce open source software. Most of thetime when people are using software they don't pay for its because they need the functionality but don't have the budget. They most likely don't know there are alternatives, they just use what they've been sold on. Imagine if you did this. You'd solve a problem for the employer, make everything legal and you'd also be supporting open source.
Of course, the guys paying for those ads are hoping that your company will end up in a situation where they can dictate a price rather than prosecuting. They might not like this as a solution... but everyone has burdens to bear. So... if you know that you are in a situation where people are pirating, don't get even... go open. I think you'll be surprised at what you can replace.
This blog entry talks about some good resources for finding open solutions.