Open Source Software are the softwares which are made available in the form of its source codes which comes with certain rights which are otherwise reserved to the copyright holders there by allowing the users to study, make modifications and improve the existing software. Many open source software are available in the public domain where as few of the open source software satisfies the requirement of the Open Source Definition. The Open Source Definition is followed by the Open Source Initiative in order to determine whether particular software’s license can be classified as an open source license so that it can be declared as an Open Source Product. The Open Source Definition is based on Debian Guidelines for Free Software which is written by Bruce Perens.
The Open Source Software is developed as a collaborative effort of the company and the public. And they incorporate user generated content in it as well. The adaptation and utilization of open source software has benefitted both the companies and the consumers alike. The open source mechanism allows rapid development and enhancement of the software without utilization of much manpower by the company and similarly, the users can save a lot of money by utilizing the same. It is found that, the consumers are able upto more than 60 billion USD by making use of the open source software.
The open source software should not be confused with the free software as there are major differences between the two. The free software usually doesn’t allow the user to modify the software and redistribute it which is not the case with the Open Source Software. The open source software can be made use of in any of the fields of occupation and research, where as the free software is generally field specific. Few of the open source software are Mozilla Firefox, Apache HTTP Server, GNU/Linux Operating system etc.