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Linux.com: Why Use Open Source?

Feb 29, 2000, 05:58 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Chuck Mead)

"Open Source Software (OSS) should be the solution of choice for business today but it isn't. Why? We think the reason is FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt). Though many would say that FUD concerning OSS is being spread by traditional software development firms we're not entirely sure that that's the case. We believe that many companies requiring IT solutions today don't understand how OSS can benefit their technology programs and this needs to change. Let's take a simplistic look at how software acquisition decisions are made."

"When an enterprise has a problem requiring software the next step usually involves an investigation of potential solutions. These investigations usually examine a wide variety of offerings, all of which could solve the problem and may include some testing. A final decision will be made based upon a combination of considerations: will it do what's needed, how much does it cost, and is it supported? If an OSS product is considered, this, invariably, is where the FUD factor begins to arise...."

"Perhaps, initially, it might be useful to understand what Open Source Software really is. The link we've provided leads to the Open Source Definition. As it says, "Open source doesn't just mean access to the source code. The distribution terms of an open-source program must comply with the following criteria" and it goes on to list the criteria which define the open source model of distribution. One of the keys to really understanding open source is that there is a broad distinction between software which is open source and software which is free."

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