Open source software and hardware is changing the way we think while also changing the way major software and hardware businesses re-think their strategies. Open source stuff may be free, which is what a lot of us users love, but it ain’t perfect either. But even in today’s standards, highly priced systems also may not be the perfect replacement or solution.
In the computing world, major producers and software developers have reigned in generations of users purchasing, using and depending on their products. Even till today, many of us are so used to using the same old software and hardware from these producers for their reliability and brand name-sake. But as these businesses want to carve bigger slices of the market pie, users tend to shun and shy away looking for cheaper alternatives. Some users even look to find ways to keep the old stuff running even if its just for a little while more.
As hardware manufacturers constantly try to push hardware capabilities, software developers have to keep up by creating new patches or versions of their operating systems and platforms to enable software to operate on these new machines. In doing so, the easiest way to increase profits is to disable support or ‘pull the plug’ on older versions and force users to upgrade or sign up for perpetual monthly-based subscriptions to keep your software life-support on. This would inevitably end the hardware and software business continuity model or framework that most businesses had implemented years ago, assuming that all their hardware and software systems can continue to work over the next 10 years.
Open source was created as a collaborative development socio-workspace where liked minded geniuses would help contribute to society by offering their expertise and knowledge in solving software and hardware problems for free. To protect the intellectual property work of these contributions, a general use license is afforded and users must credit back the rights of use to its open source developers. These geniuses have spent hours of passionate labour in creating alternate forms of software, systems and tweaks to make even older systems and software continue to run.
Hence for many, open source is close to a form of software and hardware liberty and freedom, breaking from the bondage of increasingly expensive licenses and monthly subscriptions. It also helps older systems and platforms that we love continue to operate in today’s environment, even expanding some capabilities further. “Viva la open-source!”
Next Read: What Is Open Source?
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