Myths about Open Source Software

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Open-source software can be freely used, changed and shared by anyone. Recognizing its value, many companies choose open-source software over proprietary software. Open-source software means the code is free and publicly available for anyone to examine and update. Examples include OpenOffice, Firefox, Joomla, Linux, Drupal, Apache, PHP, MySQL, Perl, and Thunderbird.

In fact, the Republic of Peru, the U.K. and the U.S. General Services Administration have all enacted open-source favorable policies. However, some organizations are still skeptical. This skepticism stems from several myths, which Rob Howard’s article debunks. Take-aways:

Myth #1: Open source means less security.
Fact: These days security is much more than the trust we place in household names. Many companies find it necessary to verify the security measures offered by their vendors. Open-source transparency lets end users do that.

Myth #2: Open source means “too many cooks.”
Fact: The rich collective of developers is actually a great strength of open-source software and enables quick and effective response to problems and threats. For example, the Heartbleed bug was addressed more vigorously by the open-source community than by any other group or organization.

Myth #3: Open source means unclear value.
Fact: The ability to build custom modules on top of collaboration software has very clear value to many industries and governments.

Source: “Debunking the Top Open Source Myths” by Rob Howard, Chief Technology Officer of Zimbra, was originally published by NetworkWorld and later appeared in CIO.



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