Reasons for recommendation free and open source software, Basic Computer Science

For multi-national business IT system, free and open source software (FOSS) is recommended over a proprietary system. The reasons for this recommendation are:

1. Security

In open source software, the kernel code is open for public viewing. This will allows the flaws to get spotted more easily. However in case of the proprietary system, where the products are not meant for public view, anyone exterior to the company cannot view the product an hence cannot detect any flaw it might be containing. In open source software the fixing of bugs also happens very fast get fixed immediately, which is not the case with the proprietary world. For instance with Microsoft, it might take weeks or months for patching a vulnerability.

2. Quality

A number of developers as well as users work towards improving the security of open source software, along with several innovative and novel aspects and enhancements being added to the software. Generally, open source software has almost all the features that the user wants, since the users might be having a hand in making it that way. Actually, technical superiority is the one specific reason because of which open source software is the chosen product

3. Provision for customization

Because it is an open code, users can just modify the software for adding the functionality that is desired and customize it as per their needs.

4. Freedom

With proprietary system, the users need to suit themselves with whatever the vendor provides them. However, since the vendor-lock-in system is absent in the open source software, users get to decide on their own regarding what is to be done with the software. There is also a worldwide community of developers as well as users for assistance.

5. Flexibility

In case of proprietary software there is constant requirement for the OS as well as the hardware to be updated. But in open source software there is not so much requirement and it can work well with the previous hardware as well. The vendor or user can decide regarding when the upgrading needs to be done.

6. Interoperable software

Open source software adheres to open standards in much better way as compared to the proprietary software. The user does not need to be restricted by proprietary data formats while being interoperable with other businesses.

7. Auditable

Since it is an open code in open source software, the user can check first hand as to whether the software is genuine or not. While with proprietary software, one can only trust the claims of the vendor regarding everything.

8. Support services

Open source software is usually free, and the users have access to support by the help of a number of communities which come with the software. For every Linux software possesses an online community with very good documentation, forums, mailing lists and several other provisions for instant help on anything. In case there is need for added security and certainty, the users can go for the nominally charged paid support options, which in case of proprietary software are going to cost more.

9. Cheap product

Last but not the least, in proprietary products, not just the software, but several other important steps like checking of malware or virus, updating of programs, etc do cost a lot. The user on the other hand can get better quality of everything at a much lesser price in case of open end software. Thus, seeing all the above points, it is worth going for open end software like Linux for a multi-national business IT system.

Posted Date: 7/23/2012 2:39:34 AM | Location : United States

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