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Debunking Open Source Myths


Open Source is not the new kid on the block anymore. Many companies, organisations and agencies use Open Source to bring better services, enhance communication and technical solutions. But, there are none the less still myths surrounding Open Source. So, here we give you a run through of some of those myths and what we think of them.

Enjoy our list of Open Source Software (OSS) related myths. It's a list of 10, so you'll get through it quickly. Enjoy!


1. OSS is not ready for the big time 

This was in the stone age of OSS, the most common FUD spread by giants like Oracle and Microsoft. It disappeared many years ago but sometimes stubborn ideas linger. Here you can read about one such stubborn player. 


2. Big companies don't use OSS 

Well, big companies are actually historically the ones that used it first. Why? Simply because they had the resources necessary to be able to migrate and support Open Source Software (before there was commercial support available).


3. OSS is not secure enough

It is interesting that this one still lingers. OSS is in fact as secure, if not more secure then closed source. The reson for this is that it When everyone can see it, find possible weaknesses and by themselves establish where it is secure or not - things tend to become more secure. More eyes, more security. There is a reason why public organisations like NSA are using Open Source. More reading in Swedish - Öppen kod motverkar övervakning


4. It's difficult to find applications running on OSS platforms 

Ever used an app? Well, then you've probably used an app running on Open Source platforms.


5. OSS has too many chefs in the kitchen 

This might have been true 10 years ago. But today professional organisations steer the communities and make balanced decisions for the long term good of each software. The positive aspects we had ten years ago are however still around - thousands and thousands of users testing and reporting functionalities and flaws. Nothing beats the community! After all, did you know that all 3 star restaurants in Guide Michelin have many chefs in the kitchen?


6. OSS has an unclear business value 

Well, it is in the eyes of the user really, but one thing is clear. With OSS you can at a fraction of the usual cost test, modify and then test again. Only then do you decide if you want to go forward. Try that with a proprietary licence.


7. OSS is bad for the economy and defies the value of captilaism 

Wow, software is influencing world politics! We of course believe it is the other way around. OSS is sharpening the competition on all levels, and it does this with transparency! Many new organisations have been established based on providing OSS and related services. Furthermore a number of new, quite impressive, companies have emerged based on OSS. Heard of Google, Facebook and Twitter, anyone?


8. OSS support is bad, slow and/or non-existent 

As always, it depends who is providing it. But on the up side - with Open Source Software - the customer has freedom of choice. When you use a proprietary software, you usually have one source of support, and whether you like it or not - you still have to pay. In the world of OSS you have the choice of doing it yourself (at different levels) or let someone else provide you with the support. Whomever you use, is subject to competition - and they know it. In our point of view, competition evolves to quality and improvement.


9. OSS can’t be good because it is free of charge

Well are not all good things in life free? :-) Seriously though, OSS is not free. The difference is that there is no license fee. There is no "free lunch" and this is the case in the world of Open Source Software as well. But other aspects are in fact free - such as flexibility, freedom of choice, no lock in, etc - a great advantage for users of OSS. 


10. OSS is worse than proprietary software

This statement makes us giggle as it implies that all software is bad and Open Source Software is worse. But recent studies show that customers that have an OSS strategy simply choose OSS because they think it is better and more suitable to their business needs. 


Further reading

Read more on why we love Open Source Software - and why you should as well. 

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Written by Redpill Linpro