Posted by: ahmedashfaque | November 19, 2014

open source software projects – part 1

There are companies who create software products to make profits. traditionally most software companies started this way like Microsoft, IBM, Apple etc. They hire a project team and develop their software products keeping their software source code a secret from its customers and the world at large. They do not want others to see their source code and create software products and create competition for them.

Some people questioned this business model. They asked the ethics and limitations of this business model. They thought why not make the source code open to the public. But doesn’t doing it will allow everybody to copy it and create their own products? Why anybody will toil to create a software product only to see people creating their own copies of their product and making competition for them? And how these people will ever make money if their product is free to download and there are no licenses to buy?

Let us discuss all aspects about open source projects and people associated with this movement.

first let us understand how people associated with open source projects earn money so that they are paid for their efforts. One channel of source of income for these people is that they provide paid support and training for these products. Customers are happy to pay for these services for the products they get for free. Secondly, customers and general public is also happy to support these people and their projects by making donations. essentially open source projects generate huge public support and goodwill. In contrast, companies who make proprietary software products never get such things. This goodwill and support takes care of finances and basic necessities for carrying out these projects.

users save more than $60 billion annually using these open source products. No doubt they will like to reciprocate by supporting these open source people.

We will discuss other aspects about open source movement in later posts.


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