6 Feb 2020

Free and Open-Source Software 2020. Top 5 Interesting Facts

Open-source is taking the world by storm due to its unprecedented ability to unite developers and create a sense of community among programmers. It seems like everyone is ready to embrace the open-source mindset these days because the benefits of such an approach are incomparable to anything we've seen before in the IT universe.

According to the report, almost 80% of companies run part or all of their operations on open-source software, but the figure keeps growing steadily in the last few years. On the other side, a mere 1% of organizations claim that open-source is not strategically important to their overall enterprise infrastructure software plans.

What makes the new IT trend do important and influential on a global scale? In this post, we will discuss the concept of free and open-source software and show you the top five interesting facts about this phenomenon. Let's take a look!

Open-Source: Definition and Benefits

What is open-source software? By definition, open-source software is code that is designed to be publicly accessible so that anyone can see, modify, and distribute the code as they see fit. To put it simply, such a platform is being developed in a decentralized and collaborative way, relying on peer review and community production.

Why programmers and IT experts love open-source? The list of advantages is long, but we will name some of the major reasons:

  • Cost reduction: Open-source platforms are free of charge and available to everyone.
  • Quality: Some of the best software solutions out there are open-source, while you can also count on solid design.
  • Customization: Open-source codes are easy to tailor and rearrange in a way that suits you and your organization.
  • User support: Jake Gardner, one of the best essay writers in charge of college papers, says that almost every open-source platform comes with a wide range of user support solutions: "You get access to all-encompassing data libraries, while community members are available around the clock and ready to answer your questions almost instantly."
  • Scalability: Another benefit is that you can scale software using load balancing, apps, clustering, and tons of other features. 

5 Things to Know About Free and Open-Source Software

Now that we briefly explained the basics of open-source technology, we can focus on the main segment of the post. Without further ado, let's check out the top five interesting things you should know about free and open-source platforms.

    1. Name and origins

Contrary to popular belief, IT professionals did not establish an open-source way of thinking. Although most people connect it with computer programming, the origin of this concept goes back to the early 20th century.

Somewhere around 1911, automotive companies decided to cooperate by sharing technology patents and helping each other grow. The idea survived the next few decades and earned the name "open source" in 1998.

That year, Navigator's tech conference was held and developers used the opportunity to promote the new phrase. Linus Torvalds, the founder of Linux, embraced the term quickly and that's how open-source became a big thing in the IT universe.

    2. Open-source is taking the central stage

Some experts claim that as much as 95% of mainstream IT companies already rely on open-source software in the application development process. It's a huge figure, particularly if you know that the whole open-source philosophy is barely 20 years old.

Another thing we can conclude is that open-source is going to penetrate many other industries, too. Besides that, we can recognize a wide range of non-software applications, including global phenomena such as open-source ecology or open-access publishing.

    3. WordPress is the most popular open-source platform

There are so many incredibly popular open-source platforms out there, but WordPress remains by far the most commonly-used solution worldwide. It's not a surprise if you know that WordPress currently powers more than 35% of all websites on the Internet, with a total market share of over 60%.

But it's far from being the only influential system. On the contrary, there are many other open-source giants that we need to mention here:

  • Magento is the world's fastest-growing eCommerce platform
  • Mozilla Firefox is a popular web browser with almost 25% of the global market share
  • FileZilla is a well-known FTP client
  • Audacity is a common choice among users who need a free cross-platform sound editor

A lot of similar platforms dominate the open-source realm, but you can see the top 20 list for yourself.

    4. Open-source has its own version of Oscar awards

This may come as a surprise to you, but it’s fair to mention that the open-source community has its own version of the Oscar award. It is called InfoWorld's Bossies (also known as Best of Open Source Software awards). The idea is to recognize the best open-source software for businesses and professional users and identify the most innovative products available to developers and IT organizations.

    5. Open-source movement

Open-source is far from being an underground concept. On the contrary, it gradually turned into a broader movement with supporters from all over the world. Programmers who support the open-source movement philosophy contribute to the open-source community by voluntarily writing and exchanging programming code for software development.

The Bottom Line

Open-sources software is on the rise because developers enjoy the privilege of building a better and more comprehensive product in close cooperation. In this article, you could learn the following:

  • The definition and benefits of open-source platforms
  • Top five facts about free and open-source software in 2020

Are you working with open-source software? Which one do you prefer? Make sure to share your thoughts, ideas, and questions in comments as we would love to discuss this amazing topic with you!

Tom Jager is a member of professional writing services and a tech blogger. Tom is a specialist in open source platforms, but he also loves writing about cryptocurrencies and the blockchain in general. Besides that, Tom is the father of two boys and a passionate traveler.

1 comment:

  1. The number one reason for me to use open source is that a couple of times, in the past, I have paid for what I thought to be a great product only to find a much, much better open source product later. Twice burned. Never again. Also, as the article mentions, with open source, I can slightly change the product to suit my application better and re-share it back to the community. Everyone wins.