You probably use Open Source products every day, without even knowing about it! An Open Source software is basically free for you to use, whether for your business, or personal work. Software engineers who design or develop open source products make their source code freely accessible by everyone, and release and distribute it with an open source permit. This lets different designers and users gauge how it functions and keep adding to it themselves. For example, Android, Wikipedia, and Mozilla Firefox are all Open Source softwares! However, like all good things, they have both advantages, as well as disadvantages
The best part about Open Source softwares is that they are free to use! This saves companies and big organizations around $60 million per year, and also completely removes the need for renewing licenses every year! Although some Open Source softwares do charge for the support offered, the software itself, along with everything that comes with it, is completely free of cost!
Since it is a free-to-use software, with an openly accessible source code, anyone can use and access it. So it is constantly being used by people, who, after using it, discover bugs and glitches on their own, and keep adding and modifying it. This eliminates the need to wait for an official update, as the entire community keeps fine tuning the software until there are no bugs left!
You do not need a particular system or platform to run these, as an Open Source software uses open standards accessible to everyone. It does not restrict you to using an incompatible format that is only supported by specific softwares.
Since it is a free product, at times, it might not be the exact thing that YOU are looking for, being modified and heavily edited by various users. It does not follow a straight line of purpose, but rather, is constantly influenced by the users who are testing, modifying, and adding to it.
Being a product that probably started as a pet project of a developer for his own purposes, it might not be as user friendly and easy to use as its paid counterparts. You might even need to be trained first, or hire someone with expertise in it to use an Open Source software!
Although the software itself might be free, most of the time, there are many hidden costs, such as paid support, in-software purchases, etc.
Once again, the lack of proper, official support is a huge drawback, as support usually comes from the community using the Open Source software, who are not really obligated to help you, and might not always be available.
Although the Open Source software itself is compatible everywhere, certain other paid softwares might not be compatible with it, and without a suitable alternative that is supported by the Open Source software, it becomes another problem for a customer. For example Ubuntu is an open source Operating System, but Adobe Photoshop is not compatible with it.
So ultimately, the choice comes down to what purpose you want to use the Open Source software for. If, after comparing the pros and cons, you find that you do have enough technical knowledge about it, can find sufficient support, and have everything you need, then there is certainly nothing quite like , in today’s market, as it will save you an enormous amount of money, if you use it on a large scale, instead of a licensed, paid software.