The premise of open source software sounded like a techno-hippie dream when the Free Software movement kicked off in the 1980s. Since then, however, the concept has paved the way for much-loved tech icons such as the GNU/Linux operating system, the Apache HTTP Server and the Mozilla Firefox browser. Today, CIOs and other IT decision-makers are increasingly recognizing the value of open source software. In the era of continuous improvement, it's the essence of communal collaboration as open source allows IT folks to examine a product’s source code, improve or alter it, and distribute it as they desire. Indeed, enthusiasm for open source software is driving a "golden era" in application development, according to Forrester Research Inc., as the number of open source projects has increased to 725,000--up from 100,000 in 2006. So, given all the interest, CIOs should consider the advantages and disadvantages often linked to products generated from this now-seemingly ubiquitous school of innovation. With this in mind, the following list of pros and cons were compiled from InformIT.com, TamingtheBeast.net and CloudTweaks.com:
DISADVANTAGE 4: Orphan Software
Some open source projects grind to a halt and die because key programmers fight and quit, or they lose interest and move on to a new project.
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