"The use of open source software has become increasingly popular
in production environments, as well as in research and software
development. One obvious attraction is the low cost of acquisition.
Commercial software has a higher initial cost, though it usually
has advantages such as support and training. A number of business
models designed by users and vendors combine open source and
commercial software; they use open source as much as possible,
adding commercial software as needed. They may use open source
software as a central component of a product or service, but use
other components to add value, which can then induce customers to
pay for the offering (obviously, it is hard to compete with free
software on price).
"After a brief overview of the salient differences between open
source and commercial software, this article will describe several
basic business models in today's marketplace to highlight ways that
value is added to open source software and services..."
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