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The "Value Proposition" of Open Source

Aug 02, 2009, 15:03 (6 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by John Mark Walter)

[ Thanks to LinuxScribe for this link. ]

"When I approached attendees with the question of Open Source value, I got many of the same responses, and many of them came down to cost, but there were also mentions of freedom, community and the opportunity cost of *not* releasing Open Source code. I also heard access to source, but I'm inclined to discount it's importance to most users. In fact, when considered individually, none of these benefits explain the continuing popularity of Open Source software. Cost comes down to the vendor, who is free to set a price that guarantees widespread success.

"Simplicity, as mentioned by Urlocker, is a function of engineering and product management. Freedom may be defined in many ways, but if you're talking about the freedom to use as you want, without going through a middleman, and the freedom to install and distribute wherever you like, then those terms may be written into any proprietary software EULA. If freedom means the freedom of writing any plugin or widget I want, then we're back to engineering and product management. Freedom could also mean freedom from vendor lock-in and the ability to move data freely to whatever desired platform. It would seem that this is a matter of vendors operating more intelligently and recognizing the reality of doing business in the 21st Century."

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