What Is Open-Source Software (OSS)?

Open-source software, also known as OSS, is computer software that is open to the public via its source code (this is the code computer programmers use to determine how a program works). When a source code is made public, this means that the person who holds the copyright has kindly released the rights so that anyone can change or distribute the software.

Since it’s totally free to download and manipulate, open-source software has changed the way we share and download software today. In fact, a report done in 2008 by the Standish Group states that open-source software downloads have resulted in about $60 billion in savings for consumers a year. [1]

One common misconception about the term “open-source” is that it simply means free. This is false! Open-source developers, if they want to, can charge money for the software they create and/or contribute to. This rarely happens, though, because many open-source developers actually end up making money by helping users to install, use, and troubleshoot the free software they produce—and this is more lucrative for them than selling the actual software itself.

Open-source has spawned a whole community of developers and users alike who live by a set of values called “the open-source way:” the belief that all software should be made freely available to whomever, to use whenever and however you like.

Thanks to the many men and women who have helped make and develop open-source software available, Productivity.Tools can offer a whole host of powerful software downloads that are 100% free!

Source: [1] “Standish Newsroom — Open-source,” Press release, 2008.