Have a issue? Don’t fix it: Use Open Source. Open Source vs. Proprietary Software

14Nov11

This issue applies to nearly everyone in the internet, design, and game industries.  I touched on this topic earlier in the semester but when thinking about participatory development and the digital and creative processes, I think this issue is incredibly valuable to consider.

This PC World article describes how proprietary software is effectively outdone by open source software. Red Hat, an open source and free operating system, has built a billion dollar industry on open source software.

When Yahoo ran into problems trying to process their seemingly endless stream of information, they began an initiative to solve the problem by open sourcing. They created Hadoop, an open source framework. In essence, the way in which companies can solve problems isn’t necessarily by spending money to fix the actual issue, but rather to let others fix them for them. This has been a successful model, trend, and according to this article, it is the way that things are going.

Much of Managing Media Work discusses how to maximize creativity and innovation by letting workers have autonomy, thinking differently about the target demographic, and adapting to technological change (Ch 4). This issue in my opinion falls under the category of becoming an expert at technological change (MMW, 53).

Additionally, this article mentions that software distributors do not look for profits in the selling of their software. This makes a lot of sense since much of the software requires educational books, deals with vendors, among other types of revenue streams. These types of revenue streams also exist with open source software, which makes open source an even more viable option and pathway that allows it to be a successful model.

–       Dan Schiffman

PC World: Open vs. Proprietary

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