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What is OSS?

Open Source Software (OSS) - “Free programs created through the collaborative efforts of people from around the world ”

By distributing software on the Internet, we have a unique situation where a product has no production or distribution costs, only development cost. This is the first time in human history that a product has no production cost. No other product in human history can make this claim.

 The developers of the software are often users of the product and they benefit directly from the work they do. In this way by using software developed by someone else, they build on it to get a solution which suits their needs and in return they share these changes with the community. It is not altruism that drives OSS, it is economics.

Over 50% of the web sites on the internet are hosted using the open source Apache web server. All the Google servers run a variation of Linux, an open source operating system. Without even knowing it you have been using open source software.

Linux can be used to create a highly reliable file server, with no licensing restrictions. But OSS is not limited to servers, OpenOffice is a replacement for Microsoft Office. Thunderbird is a highly extensible email client. FireFox is a secure and extensible web browser. Gimp is a powerful Photoshop equivalent. MySQL is a powerful SQL database. The list goes on.

All of these programs and thousand more are easy to download, safe to use and all run on Microsoft Windows, have a look at for open source alternatives to many commercial packages.


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