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Open Source Software

Open Source, one of the term which is most frequently used in the world of Computer Software, today.

Open source software, the name by itself suggests that the software is freely available for use and any one can get its source code, edit it and can redistribute it as needed. Open source software is not same as the free source software and the term free software doesn’t necessarily mean available at no charge. There is free software that is not open source and vice versa.

The most well-known open source software is Linux, a UNIX operating system derivative named after its creator, Linus Torvalds.The Linux Foundation, where Linux works, is more or less “in charge of” the Operating System kernel. The Linux kernel is turned into a platform by adding a wide range of utility software, primarily developed under the banner of the GNU organization.

A number of companies have been built around a so-called Open Source business model, where they license their software for free or very inexpensively, but derive their revenues from support and training services. In fact, most long-time participants in the software market realize well more than half of their software-related revenue from the source.

Many companies following the so-called open source business model adopt a tiered approach to their product offerings, releasing a completely free community edition of their software, and then Charging the license fee for their enterprise edition, which is often based on their community edition but includes additional features or is more highly scalable.

Yahoo and Google are reportedly large users of Open Source software. Popular websites like these generally own or collate large server farms that handle all of their web traffic. The ability to maintain hundreds of servers using inexpensive open source software is a huge cost saver for these companies because they don’t have to pay pre-server license fees. No one is hurt by the growth of Open Source. It’s hard to specifically identify any “losers” because license terms and conditions have minimal effect on market dynamics. Microsoft is often considered a loser because all companies migrated from Windows Server to Linux Server.

Microsoft has steadily gained both server software and overall software market share and more than quadrupled in revenue since Linux was first aggressively supported by companies such as IBM. So it’s hard to consider Microsoft as Loser. In future, there will be a great revolution of Open source Software and its growing day by day!

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