"Open source is developed collaboratively without a conventional
management structure, as much by unpaid volunteers and users as by
paid programmers - and many of those are moonlighting. Nonetheless,
the corporate world is clearly smiling on the results of their
efforts. Linux now poses the only real challenge to the onward
march of Microsoft Windows, and is deployed on a far greater
variety of hardware. Key parts of the internet rely on other
open-source software, for everything from the fundamentals of the
domain name and email systems, to thousands of freely available
Perl scripts for user applications."
"The reason this software is so popular with corporates is
not that it's cheap - that matters to students but hardly to
City institutions. The value it brings is, surprisingly, its
quality. Companies prefer Linux and Apache over their commercial
equivalents because they crash less often. You can also go in and
adapt the code if you have to - you're not reliant on having
to persuade the software manufacturer to support you."
"Why is open-source code so good? The answer takes in the
motivation of the individual programmers, the way the development
projects are organised, and the legal relationship with the
customer enshrined in the licences under which open-source software
is issued. ... But one factor is key - the relationship with the
customer. Because the open-source development method tends to build
a customer base quickly and encourages it to report problems, bugs
tend to get fixed..."
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