Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Is Open source a synonym for Free software ?

The market for open source and free software is surging high with its appreciation in mainstream segment also. The free software products like Linux or others are moving from the walled boundaries of servers to desktops and laptops. Recently, launched Ultra low cost laptops were supported on Linux and that came as a major breakthrough for it to garner some spotlight from tech analysts.

But still the concept of free software and open source software is not clear with many of us. We are confused at the basic level and interchanging the terms for each other. We use the terms Free Source and Open Source interchangeably and get them confused with the concept that they are available for free.

To some extent the concept gels with what we consider “available for free” but not in complete sense. The word “free” is basically the misnomer. We confuse it with “free burgers” but it should be considered for “free speech”. No doubt that some softwares from both the communities are available for free of cost and are offered as free downloads but not all utilities.

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