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Open Source Essay

992 words - 4 pages

Is open-source software the key to the future of free errorless technology? Microsoft currently holds the vast majority of the market, but can they keep that market share for long? Linux, an open-source software company, would argue that it definitely has the possibility of becoming the world?s leader in operating systems. What exactly is open-sourced software, and what are its advantages and disadvantages? What do the consumers and developers think of this ?revolutionary? idea? As defined by the open-source experts at www.opensource.com there are nine components that separate open-source software (Linux) from proprietary software (Microsoft 2000). First, the license shall not restrict any party from selling or giving away the software. In other words, free distribution. Secondly, The program must include source code, and must allow distribution in source code as well as compiled form. The license must allow modifications and derived works, and must allow them to be distributed under the same terms as the license of the original software. The license may restrict source-code from being distributed in modified form only if the license allows the distribution of "patch files" with the source code for the purpose of modifying the program at build time. Fifth and sixthly, there can be no discrimination persons/groups, nor towards specific fields of endeavor. The rights attached to the program must apply to all to whom the program is redistributed without the need for execution of an additional license by those parties. The rights attached to the program must not depend on the program's being part of a particular software distribution. And lastly, the license must not place restrictions on other software that is distributed along with the licensed software. These are the requirements accepted by programmers that distinguish open-source software apart (open-source 1).Open-source software is known by the business community as inexpensive, yet untested software. Since the software is now beginning to prove itself in the world of technology, with the help Linux (open-source OS), people are beginning to consider it as a more efficient alternative to software such as Microsoft and Sun Microsystems. Following are a few of the reasons open-source software is gaining market share.Supporters of open-source software would argue that access to source code allows anyone to examine the code. With lots of eyes looking at the code, bugs are likely to be quickly found and fixed. Open source software written to open standards facilitates interoperability.SecurityPortal.com compiled a study where they compared response time to security vulnerabilities between open-source and proprietary operating systems. The study measured the time between general awareness of a security flaw and the availability of a patch. They compared response times between Redhat Linux, Microsoft NT, and Sun Microsystems Solaris. They found that the Open Source OS was generally able to provide...

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