A-Z of computing: F is for Freedom

Specifically, freedom to choose the right software for your business needs, rather than the software a developer would like you to have or has forced you into upgrading, or has scared you into believing you can never move away from. This freedom has a proper name: Open Source.

Open Source is many things to many people – often its lack of a price tag is the first thing people notice (though that can be misleading) – but its core principle is that the code is freely available to view, amend and distribute. This has led to the astonishingly rapid development of applications that have become popular globally and honed to meet the gamut of user needs.

Another of Open Source’s features is its adherence to open standards, which means that it plays nicely with other software developed by different people in a different company and for a different purpose. This is where the true freedom lies.

We’re avid exponents of Open Source, which is why we use it, run our company on it and provide our clients’ services on it. In case you’re unsure about it, think it’s a bit iffy, a bit new, not really a business tool, you might want to mull over why NASA, Google, the BBC, Twitter, Facebook, Wikipedia, HP, IBM, WordPress et al use it. Oh and it’s in cashpoints, set-top boxes, Android phones, iPhones and all those other obscure little things no-one ever uses…

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