Word of the Day: Tech Definitions from WhatIs.com

May 13 2009   12:56PM GMT

Open source – When free is really not free

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse

“It might look cheaper on paper, but if you look at what you want to do with it and it requires a substantial engineering effort rather than a commercial product, then it’s not necessarily the most effective solution.”

Adam Honoré,  as quoted in Wall Street Opens Doors to Open Source Technologies

Today’s WhatIs.com Word of the Day is open source.  Open source describes a software program whose source code is made freely available for use or modification.

The poor economic climate has given the open source movement a boost as budget cuts force IT departments to look around for the most cost-effective way to get projects done.  You might think that “freely available” is the same thing as “free” — but most of us don’t know how to use that free code.  We’d either end up paying a distributor like Red Hat to help us out — or we’d need to keep people in house that can work with the source code.  Either way,  we’d be shelling out money.

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