Open source developers choose to make the source code of their software publicly available for the good of the community and  to publish their software with an open source license – meaning that other developers can see how it works and add to it.

 

Advantages of open source software

  1. It’s generally free.
  2. It’s continually evolving in real time as developers add to it and modify it, which means it can be better quality and more secure and less prone to bugs than proprietary systems, because it has so many users poring over it and weeding out problems.
  3. Using open source software also means you are not locked in to using a particular vendor’s system that only work with their other systems.
  4. You can modify and adapt open source software for your own business requirements, something that is not possible with proprietary systems.

 

Disadvantages of open source software

  1. Because there is no requirement to create a commercial product that will sell and generate money, open source software can tend to evolve more in line with developers’ wishes than the needs of the end user.
  2. For the same reason, they can be less “user-friendly” and not as easy to use because less attention is paid to developing the user interface.
  3. There may also be less support available for when things go wrong – open source software tends to rely on its community of users to respond to and fix problems.
  4. Although the open source software itself is mostly free, there may still be some indirect costs involved, such as paying for external support.
  5. Although having an open system means that there are many people identifying bugs and fixing them, it also means that malicious users can potentially view it and exploit any vulnerabilities.

 

The above information is from the website http://entrepreneurhandbook.co.uk/open-source-software/

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