OSS offers many delicacies on its plate too. The availability of the source code allows endless scope for fine tuning. Due to openness and a wide consumer base, out of which many would be developers themselves, detection and debugging time is greatly reduced. Various problems prevalent in proprietary software can be overcome using OSS. Users have to rely on vendors to release updates which might be stopped at any time, due to various reasons like obsoleteness. On the other hand, support for the open source software can be developed by anyone willing to, in case the previous group decides to let it pass. Since the whole code is available and obfuscated code is not allowed in the license terms, black box obscurity in the code is not possible. Even the proprietary vendors have started taking cues from open source by a concept called ‘forking’ where there can be a stable version and an experimental (beta) version which is released before for the willing users to try and report bugs. The developers do not have any deadlines to comply with. Under considerable time limits, the code developed by a rested mind is expected to have lesser bugs. On an organizational level, open source software has advantages like reliability, stability, auditability, cost effectiveness, freedom and flexibility and support.
Market analysts expected the market of OSS to reach 5.8 billion USD by 2011. The impact of Open Source has been such that even companies like Apple, Corel and IBM are willing to try it. Many governments are embracing OSS and supporting it. Brazil Govt. has mandated use of OSS in municipalities. Bundestag in Germany mandated public admin servers to use linux and discounted IBM machines that had Linux preinstalled. White House moved to Linux servers in 2009. Governments like that of Singapore have introduced tax incentives for companies that use Linux in place of Windows. Promotional campaigns are another medium in which open source movement is gaining impetus.
OSS has earned worldwide repute to such extents that the term ‘Open Source’ has moved beyond the realms of software into various other domains and user base continues to expand. One can find great similarity in the way OSS has grown amidst all troubles and what Mahatma Gandhi had once said about a successful idea. It is firstly ignored and ridiculed, then people fight it and at last the idea wins. Having completed full circle, OSS is expected to be in the winners loop for a very long time.
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