In software terminology open source means software whose source code is available which can be used by the user either to read or to modify the source code according the requirement. There are several factors due to which open source software are preferred by many users over closed source ones. This article will cover all those advantages that are associated with this category that are making open source application preferable and popular.
Security: Since the past few years, the frequency of cybercrimes has been increased by a significant amount. Security attacks like phishing, hacking, malware infection etc. has become common these days and these things are readily available to even a novice hacker easily. Despite of this issue, till now there is no such software that is resistant to all the attacks, but with the use of open source software the risk of these infections can be minimized by a greater extent. As there is a huge community of developers associated with open source software that make sure that the latest threats can be identified and quickly resolved in the software, which on the other hand may take weeks to be identified by closed source vendors.
Control over the application: The open source software provides flexibility to the end user so that he can modify the application according to his specific purpose. With almost every open source application, a well explained documentation is available with the help of which even a beginner software developer can make changes according to his own purpose. Also he can share the same with the community using that application as well.
Quality: Lots of researches, surveys and studies have indicated that the quality of the open source software is better than proprietary ones. One of the biggest contributions to this factor is the participation of world class developers in the development of the application that ensure that the application should be highly modular and flexible enough so that it can accommodate any changes done to this quickly
Cost: Usually open source software is available for free or at very low cost. These can be easily downloaded from the internet. Even the open source licence allows the end user to distribute the software as many times as he wish without the payment of any extra per-user cost.
Flexibility: Flexibility is one of the most prominent factor that is making open source software popular. Let’s say when you are using a word processing application and you want some additional feature in that. Now if that application is a proprietary one then you will have to request the vendor of the application for that particular feature and wait for next release to come out. However, even if you have slight knowledge of software development, then you can easily develop that module. Otherwise you can either search for some extension of the application that might already have developed by some other person and released on the internet.