Free open source software
Free open source software

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Free open source software

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Free open source software

Free Open Source Software

Free open source software

A group of software developers getting together in their spare time and producing a piece of free open source software

Free open source software
First published 16-07-2011
A group of software developers getting together in their spare time and producing a piece of software to rival that being sold by a multi-national software conglomerate is an idea that easily captures the imagination of IT revolutionaries world-wide many who, detest companies like Microsoft and Apple who, in their opinion, are 'fleecing' the poor old general public by charging them for their software.
The fact of the matter is however, software development is an expensive business. Overhead-laden companies employ an army of highly-paid personnel to sit in air-conditioned offices to tap away writing code. The end result is hopefully, a product that is sold at a price that covers all the costs and turns a profit, but don't forget, for the products that do prove to be popular and turn a profit, there are usually several other expensive projects that were shelved along the way.
Before the more recent advent of Google's 'funded-by-advertising' business model, this was the standard business model upon which the software industry operated.
So, did a group of like-minded software developers ever sit down and decide to provide their labour and expertise free, to design from scratch, a product to rival one of the leading commercial products in the market-place ? I doubt it, because it just wasn't viable for them to do so, and every project has to follow a business model of one kind or, another !
Sure, there are many free open source pieces of software available, but if you look into and examine how they came about, there's nearly always a reason other than the one that I have suggested above.
As an example, let's look at the forerunner to what is now Oracle's Open Office. Star Office was a project being developed by a group of professional and very highly paid software engineers who, at the time, were working for Star Division and Sun Micro systems. They were working to the standard industry business model - producing and selling their software in the commonly accepted way at the time.
Without the revenue generated from the standard
industry business model, it's simple, there would be no Star Office (Open Office). There are many other similar examples that we could look at, but the general point that I would like to make here is that, "FOSS" is not Free at all, it is just software that has been paid for by someone else, software that in most cases, but for the funding coming in from the sale of software following the standard business model, wouldn't have even got off the drawing board.
OK, there are the projects that were declared as "FOSS" following a company merger or, acquisition, but usually, these products had been produced following the standard business model and were just thrown to the market-place as lost leaders - usually to upset the business model of a close rival.
There is no doubting the fact that the software house business model has changed over the years and is still changing ! Most of us are already using one or, more cloud-based computing solutions.
The (FOSS) business model that I want to alert our readers to this week is completely different to any that I have yet mentioned and far more dangerous !
Internet Scam artists have found a new use for (FOSS). They legally download the source code from the original website. They may alter it slightly in some way, but not necessarily. They package it up in a wrapper that includes the internet scam artists adware or, malware code. Advertise it as (FOSS) using the Google Adsense or, one of the other popular internet advertising programs and invite you to download it - free!
Most users are not aware that they are downloading the (FOSS) from a website other than the original and certainly do not expect to end up with an infected PC into the bargain !
Why do Google, Yahoo and Microsoft allow the internet scam artists to advertise their mal-ridden software in their popular advertising programs ? Well, because they are following their business model and it is profitable to let them advertise, and in Microsoft's case, in doing so, (isn't it ironic) they are making money out of the software that was originally designed and released to put them out of business !
Free open source software
Free open source software
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