Open Source has been a major player in the evolution of software for years. Had it not been for projects like Linux and PHP (among many others) computing would still be back in the early 90’s. Luckily this phenomenon has revolutionized the way we go about business. To counter this argument I will be doing another post on how Open Source hurts businesses and the economy. Lets get started. Here are 5 ways Open Source has has helped the business world:

  1. Software has evolved at a rapid pace due to community involvement. Contributors from all backgrounds can participate in the development and making it possible for businesses to do things not possible only a few years ago.
  2. Open Source Software is generally free. Most companies only need to pay for support, making it more affordable for the smaller companies to be just as technologically advanced as fortune 500 companies
  3. Vibrant communities are great for support. You, in many cases, are more likely to find help online since there are so many contributors. This free support fits well into next years budget.
  4. With some software like web browsers and operating systems there is a wealth of plugins and ad ons that allow you to customize your software to your need. This isn’t limited to Open Source, but compare Firefox to IE.
  5. If it doesn’t work the way you want it to, change it. Open Source means the source code is openly available. If you need a little extra functionality it doesn’t cost you a thing to change it yourself, something that will cost you and arm and a leg with proprietary closed source software.

I will be following up with the cons, so don’t get ahead of your self. There are plenty of reasons for not using Open Source. But Hey, why not, its free?