You have probably heard the term “Open source” and might’ve already used open-source software without having an idea about what it actually is. Open-source culture is growing rapidly and also it has also become quite popular. In the tech industry, billions of people are using open-source software day by day. Companies like Google and Microsoft who used to be the strong critics of open source in the past have also open-sourced some of their codes and even started promoting open source lately. In this article, we have simplified the term and also listed the top 5 reasons to switch to open-source software.
What is open source?
Open source refers to any program whose source code is available for use or modification by users or other developers. This software is usually developed as a public collaboration and made freely available. Anyone can inspect, modify, and share it. It represents a specific approach to creating computer programs that celebrate the values of collaboration, transparency, and community-oriented development. Open source products and services use “Creative Commons (CC)” license which enables everyone to share, use, and build upon their desire.
Why should you switch to open source software?
Open Source Software is developed by the users for the users. They are created without any intention of commercial benefits and centered around the needs and wants of a user. Open Source offers higher quality, greater flexibility, and more reliability at lower costs, and most of all it paves an end to proprietary lock-in.
Most of the proprietary software have their open-source counterparts. Some are in developing stages and some are even superior to ones with closed code.
Here are the Top 5 reasons to switch to Open Source Software –
It provides greater security than that of its closed counterparts because any bugs in the software will be fixed instantly. There are thousands of open source contributors who provide immediate response upon the discovery of any bug which we don’t see from major companies.
Open-source software is created by the people to the people and for the people. Major companies have a fixed team of developers to create software but in the case of open-source thousands of professional contributors join hands together to create software.
3. Greater customization
Every code on open-source software is visible, can be edited and modified. If you want to add or remove any functionality from an open-sourced software, you can do it effortlessly and you can customize anything as per your need, something which Proprietary Software forbids.
4. Lower Cost
Most of these software are absolutely free to use. You are the one to decide what you need and how much to pay. You can actually get it at a better quality for free or just a fraction of the price. The same software will be similar if not better than the proprietary software.
Most of the big companies charge hundreds of extra bucks just for their support. It is mostly free or comes at a fraction of the cost of proprietary software and you’ll get lifetime support right from developers. If you can’t modify the software as per your need, you can directly ask for a developer to modify it on your behalf and he’d be more than happy to modify it for you.
There are tons of open-source alternatives even for the most popular proprietary software. You can use Ubuntu for an open-source operating system, Firefox for web browsers, VLC for media player, Notepad++ for a text editor, and LibreOffice for Microsoft office suite. Not only this, you can also use GIMP as a Photoshop alternative and ClamAV as an open-source antivirus to name a few.