Why is Open Source Software so Popular? – It’s Not About the Money

3 min read

Open source, the software which you can download for free and enjoy. Is that the only thing which makes open source software popular? Well, for people who do not yet comprehend the full meaning of open source, it might. But, after reading what is to follow, you might change your mind on open source and migrate your software and even operating system to something a bit safer.

Here are a couple of reasons why open source is very popular.

It’s Free

People like free stuff, period. Open source software is free to download and use. Sometimes, you get programs like VLC or Audacity, or GIMP, which are really advanced and can be used to make and view great things. Since it is free, it is fairly popular and used on a daily basis by many people. But, free doesn’t account for all of what makes open source great, in fact, not even a larger part.

It’s Fast and Gets Even Faster

Open source software is developed by people who are passionate about it. Open source software gets updates so frequently that bleeding edge technology works almost immediately after release. This is something people on paid systems and with paid software often have to wait for a while.

For example, Linux operating systems have updates almost every single week, especially rolling-release distributions like Arch and Gentoo. If you want the latest technology, you should probably get open source software, and the kind which gets frequent updates.

It is not Tied to a Single Corporate Entity

Open source software means that anybody can view the software’s source code and see what it looks like. That means that if you have the technical knowhow, you can see what you have downloaded, actually. That also means transparency, which means security. Given how open source software is not tied to a single corporation, you do not have to wait for boards to get their stuff together and decide the future of the project, but rather individuals who regularly submit code to the repository. This by itself makes open source really desirable.

Security and Safety

Closed source software doesn’t allow you to peek under the hood. Open source software does, and by doing that, you can find out whether you as the user, are protected from all potential external and internal attacks. This level of transparency allows for software to be constantly monitored and updated to meet any new threats. You are safe from large corporations trying to spy on you and from individuals with malicious intents.

Modding – Everyone Likes Their Software Better

The future of open source is not only in transparency and fast updates, but also extensions, add-ons or mods, whatever you want to call them. They allow the user to create or download extensions which make the software better, either by adding new features or optimizing already existing ones.

You Can Contribute

Even if you know just a bit of coding, you could submit your own code to the repository and have other developers look at it. Anything which improves the software is appreciated, for that is one of the main aspects of open source, that anyone can modify and improve it by adding their own expertise.

Open source software is popular for plenty of reasons, from it being free to it being open to anyone to view and edit.