It’s definitely not just the name
Free software and open source software have different licensing requirements, which are promoted by two separate groups. Both look at the availability of the source code to the user along with the user’s right to freely study, alter, and redistribute the code to others. The thing to keep in mind about the GNU General Public License for free software is that the developer can charge the user for “free software.” This raises the question of what exactly is free in this type of software. Freedom is that the user has access to the source code along with the right to study, modify, alter and distribute the code to others (freedom of expression, not free beer as they say). An alternative to the General Public License is the BSD license, which allows source code distribution only and only if some specific conditions are met. The ideology of free software is promoted by the Free Software Foundation.
Open source software is not governed by any of these licenses described above and is promoted by the Open Source Initiative (OPI), a relatively small organization. In this case, the ready-to-run software is often provided to the user along with the source code. There is no specific license that governs this type of open source software, so we have two additional types of open source related software: freeware and shareware. Shareware is paid even though the user gets a free trial period. However, access to the source code is not provided as part of the typical shareware license. Free software users can download and use the software for free, but access to the source code is not provided. However, most true open source application developers offer full access to their source code and allow users to actively participate in improving the currently available application.
Although these ideological differences between the two types are often a source of controversy between the IPO and the Free Software Foundation, they are definitely interested in ensuring greater openness in the field of software development. Both movements view proprietary software as a nexus of evil because it restricts users’ freedom by severely restricting access to source code. Even if these two different ideologies take different routes, their goal is remarkably similar: greater benefits and freedom of choice for the user along with superior user participation. From the end-user perspective, it matters little to the average user as long as the end application works according to user expectations, while providing an appropriate, if not exceptional, user experience. This has led many software development companies and users to use the terms free software and open source software interchangeably.
How does it affect organizations?
In most cases, open source software tends to outperform free software in terms of stability and security as a result of increased collaboration between users to improve the available application. Therefore, organizations operating on a limited budget, such as SMEs, often prefer the use of open source software. In some cases, larger corporations have also chosen to use open source resources, sometimes to attract more attention from additional user groups and sometimes to develop competence in developing their own platform-based application. specific open source. An example of this is the use of PHP in website design by leading organizations around the world.
For security reasons, people or companies who want to use the benefits of an open source platform recommend the custom application development route. This offers the best of both worlds by allowing additional security features to be installed in the open source solution. Android and Java mobile applications are the best examples of how these custom solutions can be created and deployed in enterprises. The main problem with using proprietary software is the cost factor, however, in some cases it can be unavoidable, as with MS-Office. The current financial crisis has caused a serious liquidity crisis in most companies, which has led to the implementation of various cost reductions. As a result of such cost reductions, the free and open source software market had expanded significantly over the period 2008 to 2012. Whether or not this growth is sustainable in a post-recovery market remains to be seen.