Creator of Knowledge
Information Resources Management Association
Advancing the Concepts & Practices of Information Resources Management in Modern Organizations

Free and Open Source Software

Free and Open Source Software
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Author(s): Mohammad AlMarzouq (Clemson University, USA), Guang Rong (Clemson University, USA) and Varun Grover (Clemson University, USA)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 6
Source title: Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, Second Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-026-4.ch251


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Free and open source software (F/OSS) is emerging as a promising alternative to proprietary software. The interest in F/OSS solutions is growing as firms realize that it could help reduce IT expenditures. Unfortunately, despite the heightened interest, F/OSS solutions remain misunderstood, and a number of myths regarding this approach still prevail. F/OSS has been described as simply software, or even software specific for the Linux operating system, with hardly any reliable support available. Some have considered it a silver bullet solution that will always create superior quality software at lower or no cost (Wheatley, 2004). The purpose of this article is to demystify these misconceptions surrounding F/OSS and provide an understanding of its basic concepts. Then, based on these concepts, we try to illustrate how companies can benefit from F/OSS. Our hope is that this article would assist interested observers to better understand F/OSS and help managers make more informed decisions regarding F/OSS solutions.

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