"Open-source software (OSS) is important to end-users since it
is a critical enabler of the Internet, as much of the code that
drives the Internet derives from OSS. In fact, all Internet,
intranet, and extranet applications depend on OSS, since many
servers on the Internet are built using at least some OSS for
operating system, web server, mail, and other Internet
infrastructure functions. While it is possible to construct the
Internet and web applications completely with proprietary software,
OSS counters the proprietary grip of vendors who lock up data and
lock in obsolescence. OSS ensures that the web remains open and
based on open standards."
"Web computing fundamentally depends upon open access because
more contacts lead exponentially to more potential value creation.
For example, Bob Metcalfe, inventor of Ethernet technology, asserts
the value of any number of interconnections - computers, phones, or
even cars - potentially equals the square of the number of
connections made. By developing reference implementations, OSS
maintains open access to programming interfaces and data formats by
accelerating interoperability at the communication, data, and
management levels. In the same way, OSS also ensures conformance to
"OSS offers many advantages to customers who require freedom of
use and distribution. This applies not only to the technically
adept who need to customize software for specific environments, but
also to those who desire a choice of vendors for technical support.
Another benefit of popular OSS is reliability built on technical
excellence due to widespread peer review."