InformationWeek: Open Source Moves To The Mainstream

“The open-source movement is establishing itself in the software
market and, in the process, making considerable inroads. Part
ideology and part implementation, open-source development raises
important considerations for the Web developer and manager who can
influence your final product and your bottom line.”

“Development tools born out of the open-source philosophy
typically differ from commercially produced tools in three ways.
First, the source code is freely available and modifiable. A
skilled developer may then have the opportunity to alter the tool
to meet a specific need. Commercial software can at best offer
whatever degree of customization its developers choose to allow,
which may range from none to significant….”

“While Microsoft doesn’t provide specific numbers, its Hotmail
service is proclaimed to be the “world’s largest provider of free
Web-based E-mail.” It’s interesting, then, that despite its own
commercial offerings, Hotmail juggles its millions of visitors from
an Apache Web server-running atop the FreeBSD open-source operating
system, no less….