In business, in government, and in home computing, software upgrades and software licenses comprise a substantial piece of operating budgets. The current economic squeeze has cracked the veneer of software loyalists who a year ago would never have thought of abandoning their beloved WordPerfect or Microsoft Office for open source software. To their surprise and delight, they have found what a few have known for a long time, that not only is Open Source Software as powerful and feature-packed as the name brands, but it is highly adaptable to their specific uses. The advantages of open source software are three-fold.
Open source software touts a reputation for superior security. Because the software is written and tested by hundreds of developers, flaws and breaches in security are found and fixed quickly. New security threats that emerge are quickly resolved. In contrast, closed source software is developed and reviewed by handful of developers and often tested in-house. Developers of closed source software are often spread thin, working on several projects at once and aren’t able to recognized the flaws quickly.
Developers of open source software are in tune with frontline consumers and users. Their goal is to create highly functional and easily operated software. Open source software often out performs their closed source rivals. For example, the Mozilla browser consistently out performs its rival Internet Explorer.
For small businesses , the fact that open source software allows in-house developers to customize the software to fit their unique business needs. In addition the use of open source software allows in-house developers to collaborate with other developers around the world to brainstorm solutions to thorny problems.
In today’s constricted economy, businesses, governments, and individuals are replacing proprietary software with open source software. By choosing open source software they maintain or increase their functionality while reducing overall operating expenses.