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  • Writer's pictureNisha Sashidharan, Head of Marketing

Exploring the Open Source Software World

According to the consultancy firm BCG, most highly successful organizations use Open Source Software to Innovate and stay ahead of competitors. Similarly, research by McKinsey states that open source adoption is the most vital differentiator for the top companies that have been successfully reaping its benefits, like speed, significantly low ownership costs, access to the talent pool, and agility, to name a few.

Are you aware of Open Source Software's history, features, and benefits? Incidentally, we need to learn more and get a refresher to understand this gem. Hence, this blog and the remaining series are in the quest to fill that information gap.

The Advent of Open Source Software

In 1992, a Usenet posting by Linus Torvalds, a 21-year-old computer science student at the University of Helsinki, read: "I'm doing a free operating system, just a hobby, won't be big and professional like GNU..." Three decades later, his hobby paved the way for creating the Linux kernel, the very first free operating system, and the ongoing open source movement.

Subsequently, Open Source has grown beyond software production and has become a way of working for one and all. Through its value and the decentralized production model, open source movements strive to solve problems in their enterprises and communities. It has become necessary for all types of businesses, whether large organizations, small companies, or individuals. Open Source Software simplifies tasks on various operating systems, including Linux, Windows, and Mac, without requiring subscriptions.

So, let us learn more about Open Source Software that continues to change the programming world with its magic and simplicity.

Open Source Software (OSS) Overview and Interesting Facts

Open Source is free to download, modify, and distribute; it implies that anyone worldwide can do so without spending any money. A community rather than a single author or company develops Open Source Software, which is usually cheaper, more flexible, and has a longer shelf life than its proprietary counterparts. In 1953, OSS was developed for UNIVAC's A-2 compiler in the A-2 system instead of Linux, as popular belief believes.

Let us see some other interesting facts about OSS,

  • Early examples of open source sharing predated the creation of the first computer and had nothing to do with software. Instead, Henry Ford launched the open-source initiative to encourage major US automakers to share technology patents without seeking any monetary rewards.

  • The phrase "Open Source" was first used during the publication of Navigator's source code in 1998 and had been gaining ever-increasing popularity ever since.

  • The most useful Open Source Software ever created is Linux! A world without Linux would be a more complex place to live. Isn’t it true!

Most Popular Open Source Software in the Market Today

Apache web server, Linux, GIMP, VNC, LibreOffice, and Query are the most popular OSS available. Many open source software is available in the market. Still, only a few have become popular and remain relevant since they are constantly being worked upon and improved to keep them suitable for the end user.

Value Offered by Open Source to Organizations

  • The open software source offers some valuable aspects to businesses, like the speed of innovation, community support, and the freedom from vendor lock-in.

  • The open source community regularly examines and releases new updates with bug fixes, which makes Open Source Software secure and reliable. This makes Open Source Software just as good or better than paid software, and let's remember that new features are being added to open-source platforms every day.

  • The concept of Open Source goes beyond coding for many people. In its truest sense, it showcases a complete culture. Transparency, giving back to a community, sharing, and collaborating are the hallmarks of an open source community, and they encourage greater transparency within the community.

The Many Benefits Offered by Open Source Software


The benefits offered by Open Source Software are manifold and ever-growing. Some of the many benefits of Open Source Software are stated below,

  • Open Source Software is continuously monitored and improved by expert developers who can detect and fix bugs collaboratively. Hence it is performant and dependable.

  • Every successful open source project relies on a thriving community of end users and coders. You may also get access to hire passionate open source developers for your one-time or long-term projects.

  • The flexibility of Open Source Software allows you ease in adaptability, faster go-to-market, and a competitive edge at a comparatively low cost.

  • And let's remember that a product with available source code is more likely to last longer and stay stable as there is no fear of it being phased out like proprietary software.

As the saying goes, "With great power comes great responsibility," proceeding with the open source path requires organizations to be more dedicated and accountable. Trade-offs and priorities must be thoroughly discussed. To realize the benefits of OSS, companies must invest in tapping and retaining top engineering talent, reducing complexity with better processes, and instituting adequate security and governance techniques.

Using Open Source Software offers all the features and functions like paid software. When making software selections, it would be best to consider Open Source Software for its multiple business benefits. An open source e-commerce strategy can pave the way to a more productive and innovative future for organizations willing to invest in people and processes.


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Guest
Oct 01, 2023
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