Open Source and Economic Downturn

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I am a lover of Open Source software. Open Source is a development methodology which offers practical accessibility to a product's source (goods and knowledge). Thus Open Source aims at taking the software out of the proprietary paradigm. Let us see, why Open source software will flourish during economic downturn.

During an economic downturn, Businesses would like to lower their IT costs while continuing to service business needs. Open Source software is featured by low or nil upfront investment.  License costs constitute a major portion of the IT expenditure, from the perspective of a business. Open Source software does not always mandate a costly license and this is definitely good for business.  They are open to try the full-version software without obligations and take further decisions.

Most of the Open Source software are supported by user communities and detailed documentation. Also, the Businesses can put use of their IT talent to customize or enhance the Open Source product in hand. This might again lower the IT expenditure.

There is a general idea that Open Source software is less robust and more difficult to maintain. But I believe businesses are coming out of this old-aged notion. I have seen many Open Source software performing better than their Proprietary counterparts - noteworthy example is Linux versus Windows.

Other area I see benefiting at difficult times - is Cloud computing. Cloud computing greatly reduces the setup cost of a business. Companies can forget about procuring and maintaining, data centers and servers, and instead concentrate on their core business. "Pay for usage" model of Cloud computing is ideal for businesses, during recession.

Overall, I feel Open Source software will flourish during tough times. But only time can say the reality.

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