Putting it in the simplest of terms, open source software is free. Increased access to high-speed internet connections and sophisticated technologies has paved the way for the open source phenomenon.
Why Do Companies Offer Software for Free?
Some companies provide their entire suites of software for free – the most obvious one being Google’s Docs and Drive programs.
Google’s Drive suite is used by businesses worldwide to enable them to share documents amongst collaborators, not only within the same organisations but on a global stage. Users are able to send links to software via email, enabling others to either view or edit a document from outside the organisation.
Another example of open source software comes from Adobe, who in 2019 recorded staggering revenues of $11.17 billion. Their PDF software has swept the globe in recent years. Not only is their software offered for free (the none-editable version), it is also compatible with Microsoft’s office programs such as Word and Excel. Despite requiring a PDF to Excel converter such as PDFtables, the PDF office tool is used within offices and organisations worldwide on a daily basis.
What Open Source Software Means for Software Companies
As the complexity and competitiveness of the software industry have intensified, the need to come up with more innovative marketing ideas has also intensified.
Open source software is a form of advertising for software companies. By offering a product for free, the companies are essentially offering a free trial in the hope that not only will customers go back for more but they will also recommend and share the product with others to spread the word.
Software companies know that people do not like change, and so once the software becomes a part of a business a company is more likely to stick with it.
The open source market offers products in every sphere of business, including, Office Applications, CRM systems, ERP systems, Design Packages, Accounting Packages, Media Players and so on. If you can think of any piece of software on your computer, there will almost certainly be an open source version of the same thing available for free.
The ready access to open source software has revolutionised the way we run our businesses in such a way that we hadn’t even seen it coming.