Open source software is developed and distributed under a license that gives users the right to use, modify, and redistribute the software. When you purchase proprietary software, you don’t own it. In many cases, proprietary software is effectively leased to you for a set period. Many companies force their customers to upgrade to newer versions to continue to have access to their creations. That is not the case with open source software. Open source software is the best value in the market, and here are five reasons why that is so.
1. Lower costs
One of the most significant advantages of open source software is its low cost. This can save businesses a significant amount of money on software licensing fees. I am writing this blog with MarkText , a simple yet elegant editor that’s available for Linux, MacOS and Windows. It saves my work by default in MarkDown, which is an open source format. I can export the file to HTML or PDF or I can copy and paste it directly into LibreOffice Writer or into my WordPress blog. In all cases, I own my work without needing a license for the software.
Open source software is often very flexible and customizable. This means that businesses can tailor the software to their specific needs. Businesses and individuals can modify their software or move from one application to another with compatible formats. One of my clients had files written and saved in a proprietary format that was no longer accessible because the proprietary software was no longer on the market. I was able to open and save the person’s files using LibreOffice Writer because it had the filters built into it that allowed that to happen. You can imagine the delight my client felt when her work of many years was made freely available to her in a format that was accessible using a free product.
3. Community support
Open source software often has a large and active community of users and developers. This community can provide support for the software. These communities are responsive to the needs fo users because they have a share interest in the success of the software and are part of a caring community committed to the development of quality software and the maintenance of the communities, many of which are governed by codes of conduct which ensure respect for the users.
Open source software is often very secure. This is because the software is constantly being reviewed and audited by a large community of users and developers. This helps to identify and fix security vulnerabilities before attackers can exploit them. An adequate number of eyes on a project ensures that bugs in the software are quickly identified and quickly fixed.
Open source software is often a source of innovation. By its very nature open source software frequently leads to rapid innovation as communities form around projects of common interest. With a quick look at Github and Gitlab one can easily find new projects or forks of older projects that are leading to new solutions. The development of the Linux kernel and the subsequent proliferation of nearly six-hundred different distributions, each one customized for its community, is but one example.
There are many good reasons to use open source software. These reasons include lower costs, flexibility, community support, security, and innovation. If you are looking for a cost-effective, flexible, and secure software solution, then open source software is a good option to consider.
Here are some additional resources about open source software:
- The Open Source Initiative: https://opensource.org/
- Linux Foundation: https://www.linuxfoundation.org/
- Apache Software Foundation: https://www.apache.org/
- Free Software Foundation: https://www.fsf.org/
I hope this blog post has been helpful. If you have any questions, please feel free to comment below.