Why Open Source?
There are many people and organizations committed to open source software. Rather than being owned and controlled companies and their developers, open source software is owned and controlled by its user community.
The software itself is free to download, to install and to use. Improvements and changes in the software are contributed by whoever has the interest and skill-set to make them. Panels of users then decide whether or not they want to adopt each improvement. Controversies sometimes result in "forks," allowing differences of opinions about software features and directions to be decided by the all users (not just the panel).
So, aside from being free, it is unlikely that software changes (interface and features) will be forced upon users by companies seeking incremental profits for little or no benefit to users (think Microsoft Windows and Office).
What Open Source?
Operating systems: Desktop and laptop computers are mostly running proprietary operating systems such as Microsoft Windows or Apple Macintosh OS. Tablets, smartphones and servers are more likely to be running open source operating systems, such as Android or one of the other, many different flavors of Linux, BSD, et al.
Applications: Computers running Windows and MacOS are much more likely to be running proprietary (not-open-source) apps than server machines are. Open-source web, email, database, virtualization, and other server applications are common.
There are open-source versions of most applications that most people and companies use. Most open-source versions are compatible with their proprietary "equivalents" to allow users to share files with users of the proprietary products. Many open-source software developers have made tools and services to help new users migrate from the proprietary version to the open-source version.
How Open Source?
- As with proprietary software, it takes time, effort and skills to design, implement, install, use and maintain open-source software. This process is not free, but from a total-cost-of-ownership perspective, it should be less costly than most proprietary-software solutions. Keystone Computer can help you with every step in the process. Contact us to get started.
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