Open Source Technology

The open source technology is gaining momentum since last few years. Some of the factors fueling the growth of the technology include several advantages associated with these solutions. Open source software offer accessibility and flexibility to modify it as per the requirement which is anticipated to boost the market growth in forthcoming years.

Open Source

Also, several regional and international governments are taking initiatives to promote the usage of open source technologies which is expected to positively influence the market growth.

Although, the user needs to better manage their open source software as millions of developers and users use it. Around 75 % of code base contains vulnerabilities.

The open source providers monetize their solution by different ways. Some companies make a part of their software open source. So, if the user wants to access entire product then some amount needs to be paid for using the software with full functionality. Furthermore, some companies provide paid training and support to their open source programs such as Apache’s Hadoop. Some of the companies make money through advertisements.

The open source community is employing different strategies to overcome with drawbacks of these solutions. The market is anticipated to witness tremendous growth in future.

Open source Software

Open Source platform can be defined as a type of application or program which a user can inspect, modify, copy, and redistribute for free. The software is available with its source code.

Open source technology has registered massive adoption from a majority of companies. These solutions help the companies to gain shorter development duration, flexibility, and competitive advantage which ensures them the successful implementation of their road maps. Some of the major companies operating in open source market includes Adobe, Docker, Cloudera, Facebook, Microsoft, Google, Huawei, Intel, IBM, and Samsung Electronics.

Top 5 Individual Contributors to Open Source

According to a study published for GitHub contributors, in 2017, Microsoft was the major contributor in open source community followed by Google. More than 4,500 developers contributed to open source projects on GitHub. Moreover, in 2018, the code contributors from Microsoft raised by 7,700.

Open Source Companies
Source : GitHub

7 Open Source Software

Software CategoryProprietary SoftwareEquivalent Open Source Software
Web ServerIISApache
Operating SystemMicrosoft WindowsLinux Ubuntu
ServerMicrosoft Windows ServerRed Hat Server, Ubuntu Server
BrowserInternet ExplorerMozilla Firefox
DatabaseOracle, Microsoft SQL ServerMy SQL, Mongo DB, HADOOP
Office AutomationMicrosoft OfficeOpen Office
Media PlayerWindows Media PlayerVLC Player

History of Open Source Software

Launch of GNU Project:

In late 1983, Richard Stallman, a programmer in MIT launched GNU project. The purpose of this project was to complete a free platform for users by cloning Unix operating system.

Also, in 1985 Stallman unveiled GNU Manifesto intended to explain the purpose and importance of free software. In the same year Free Software Foundation was established to house funding for GNU project. Further, in 1989, GNU General Public License was published


In 1991, Linus Torvals released the Linux Kernal. Initially, the licence wasn’t free. In February 1992, version 0.12 was re-licensed under GNU General Public License. By the time, it has become the most popular operating system around the globe.

By late 1990s Linux adoption had gained momentum among business and government communities. Several website-based companies used free web servers extensively, especially the Apache HTTP Server

The LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) gained popularity over traditional proprietary counterparts.

Mozilla Firefox:

In 1997, one of the free software advocates Eric Raymond, a consultant in free software sector, published The Cathedral and the Bazaar in which he did a reflective analysis of comparison between development styles of Linux and GNU project.

Netscape got the motivation from the research paper and released Netscape Communicator Internet suite as free software, which later became the basis of Thunderbird and Mozilla Firefox.

In 2000, Mozilla Firefox became one of the most popular internet browsers.


Till 1990s proprietary software maintained its dominance in global market. In September 2008, Google unveiled the first version of Android, a new open source operating system for smartphones.

The android platform was adopted by several smartphone providers. Android is based on Linux kernel which made it dominant kernel and key player in both computers, smartphones, and server operating systems

Investment & Acquisition with Industry Giants:

In 1999, IBM announced to invest US$ 1 Billion in support of Linux. Moreover, in January 2008, Sun Microsystem acquired MYSQL worth US$ 1 Billion. Hence, massive investments and acquisition with industry giants has resulted in a boost in open-source market and expected to grow significantly in forthcoming years.

Also read:

Artificial Intelligence | History of AI | Applications of Artificial Intelligence

Open Source Advantages vs Disadvantages

Open source platform is increasingly being adopted by in the enterprise IT sector. This is mainly due to several advantages associated with it. Enterprises are looking forward to take smart usage of open source technologies. The companies are switching towards open source from traditional proprietary counterparts. Some of the advantages associated with open source are stated below:

Freedom from Lock-Ins

Open source provide freedom from vendor and technology lock-in. In case of proprietary software, enterprises get limited flexibility and they can be at the mercy of vendors’ price increases.


Open source software is inexpensive as compared to proprietary software of similar capabilities. The acquisition, contract, and implementation cost are lesser. According to studies, the software helps the enterprises to save around US$ 60 Billion a year.

Flexibility & Reliability

There is better flexibility in sharing data across interoperable platforms in case of open source code. Also, the open source program is developed by highly qualified professionals under guidance of experts. There are millions of eyes to monitor and fix the bugs within shortest amount of time. This improves the reliability of open-source software.

However, there are some disadvantages of using open source solutions. Some of them are listed below:

Additional Cost associated with Support & Maintenance

Open source software doesn’t come with a support package. If the user requires any kind of support, maintenance, or customized upgrade then they need to find and pay any third-party support services.

Limited Focus on User-Friendliness

Open source software tends to more in lined with developers therefore less attention is paid towards user friendliness as compared with commercial versions. Therefore, it requires right level of expertise is anyone is planning to develop in-house open source.

Threat From malicious Users

The source code is accessible for wider community which increase the risk from hacker community. This can exploit the product’s vulnerabilities and create bugs which can harm the user’s hardware or result in data breaches.

Although, in response with rising adoption from large consumer base, R&D initiatives are taken in order to overcome these disadvantages and make the open source platform more efficient for IT enterprises.

Open Source Technology Trends 2020

In open source market 5G technology has become a major trend. Operators are now integrating both the technologies in order to improve the operational efficiency and productivity. The open source technology helps the operators in experimenting with business models and develop a new service model.

Also, open source program helps the organizations to roll-out and simplify the management of large-scale 5G infrastructure deployments. Additionally, open source is making a significant impact on the software layer of 5G network.

Open source technology helps the operators to get rid of vendor lock-in and lack of choice complaints. Several organizations are adopting open source technology to integrate with their 5G infrastructure.

For instance, in March 2020 HPE announced that they are entering into a partnership with Intel and Linux Foundation intended to develop an open source project for helping operators to automate their network management. The company calls the partnership the Open Distributed Infrastructure Management Initiative.

Emergence of Open source Cloud Computing

The rising adoption of cloud computing is impacting the open source market growth in a positive manner. Open source provides easy accessibility and usage of resources. It also helps in minimizing the risk of trapping in monopoly, reduces the business risk, and provide cost optimization.

Moreover, a rising uptake in multi-cloud is anticipated to create new opportunities for the growth of open source market. The modern application stack is disrupted by open source technologies such as orchestration, containers, and other services.

In May 2020, Docker announced to extend its collaboration with Microsoft Azure. This is intended to simplify code to cloud application by closely integrating with ACI (Azure Container Instances).

Strategic mergers and acquisition among tech giants have played an important role in shaping the open-source landscape. Some of the instances are stated below.

In July 2019, IBM announced the completion of acquisition with Red Hat. The acquisition was intended to extend Red Hat’s open source portfolio to a broader range.

Similarly, in October 2018, Microsoft acquired GitHub, one of the leading open source software development platforms.

The open source solutions provide the developers the autonomy to decide the right code to work on. The platform is integrally a social coding process as the IT professionals feel connected with a broad community of developers regardless within the company or outside the company. It keeps them motivated and offers a healthy environment to work.

Also, With the help of name credits, the developers receive recognition for their code contributions nurtures a sense if competence and accomplishment. It provides a digital imprint to share with other co-workers.

IT professionals can improve their skill set by making code contributions to open source projects. This also help the companies to enhance the strategic objective to collaborate with the open source community.

Therefore, several well-recognized companies including Microsoft, Google, Uber, and many others have open-sourced their projects. Also, they are encouraging their employees to contribute in open source communities.

The open source technology is anticipated to witness phenomenal growth in near future. Let me know your thoughts and insights on the same in comments 🙂

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