Linux & open source vs Closed source OS
April 18, 2014 No Comments IT info Rajesh Johnson Dcunha
The Linux and Windows – Both are good. Still, there are few aspects to know.
I am reading from 9-10 years repeatedly – the argument between Windows and Linux users, fans and evaluators. You will get number of discussion forums and posts on the web. Check their dates. (they start from year 1995 also) Linux moment initiated in the year 1991.
All they said about Linux and windows was almost true according to the point of view. These both belongs to different dominions of software developers. Yet they serve your purpose only to a certain extent.
I use both.  I used Edubuntu, REDHAT Linux, Slackware, OPENSUSE, Linux Mint (Debian), and Ubuntu (Debian.) 
I installed Android OS (many versions as they appeared) on my PC. 
Installed MAC OS 10.x (Snow Leopard) on my PC Laptop and using VirtualBox for later versions.
Tried solaris, FreeBSD, Meego OS., these are quite different from millions of linux distros.
Chrome OS was under compilation. So did not go for it on PC. But any Chromebook can help.
My favorite is, LINUX MINT (personal opinion). it is almost similar to Ubuntu, with better hardware support.

Though, I relied mostly on Windows OS for consistent work, As I was checking and using Linux OS,
I tried to convince several people the cost-effectiveness in using open-source software. 
In many places, piracy of software itself has become a boon for users. At few regions, practically Nobody (in general) ‘s paying to commercial OS like windows OS or Office suite. They used get it for free! So what if Linux is free or not.

Well, Microsoft and many other vendors generously allowed the use of their software to make their products popular and familiar among people. They caught (charging accused or guilty) only those who are making notable profit using their software without valid licence.
They tie-up agreement with hardware vendors, so that the end users do not even get aware that they already paid for it without their knowledge.
Why Linux is preferred now a days?
The competitors of Gigantic software companies did not succeed in bringing them down. Then they started supporting Linux for their business. For example, Redhat, Novell (Suse Linux Sponsor), Canonical (Ubuntu Sponsor). It is none of my business to judge who is better in the matter of making profits.
Because of the changed ways of making profit, Such Linux companies only charge money if one needs to get professional support. If one knows software coding, shell access, tweaks etc., then need not go for paid support services. 

Opensource never meant free. It was only meant that the source code be made available to anyone  freely [likely to be for a programmer  or developer]. There are many open source paid software as well. (please search online)

So, now mostly among general users, everyone will pay for support as everyone is not a programmer or developer. Nobody wants to test their coding skills when they have many other responsibilities at home!. 

Thus abandoning the paid commercial closed-source software – is illogical and pointless, just for being under the impression that opensource is free, and closed source is not revealing their source code. 
Though, linux is free for desktop, it is still found unsuitable for graphics and media industry, Printing and publications, though Linux developers claim that it is capable. Small business, office and personal use of Linux is not yet upto the mark.

Linux is usable and successfully implemented by many organizations who have skilled programmers to handle the tasks, and reducing costs was their higher priority. For web hosting and related services, linux is well suited and highly adopted. Yet, its cpanel to run a simple dedicated server in a single pc, will cost you nearly $400 per year per individual licence.  Vps and shared hostings are low in performance, thus will not serve the purpose of a good earning company.
The REDHAT or FEDORA or CENTOS (etc.) enterprise servers do not cost even the half of the price of Windows server. But at the end of Journey, many end up spending much more for the support than the actual cost of Windows server. While retail and OEM under agreement, Windows, Mac gives free support as long as the software version in the market. The quite old desktop OS – Windows XP of year 2002 is supported until 2014 April 8. Where as Windows server 2003 has been released nearly in the same year of releasing XP.
So, my point is, it is hard to rely on any one side of software movement. The corporate world is just giving its competition while messy confusions are created in the consumer world,  which also leads them making notable business profits!.
The founder of Linux [Linus] wanted to free the end user from the burdens of high pricing. (Not limited to the freedom to enable developers to possess and have access to source code), And we know this is not achieved today. 
I may encourage everyone to use Linux and Open source just stating that it is free, but I do not discourage either, the use of Windows, Mac etc as the knowledge related to software support and marketing is uncertain for the coming future. 
Remember that most of the end users don’t care whether they have access to source code or not. It is to finish the work in time that matters to many. The end user of open source software need not (and mostly do not) even know what code lies behind, which may be an open gate to invade his/her privacy. And in any such events, nobody can be held responsible, as opensource is public, and no one is to be held liable, responsible, as per the terms. But with private ,copyright protected source code, a firm needs to take the responsibility of the privacy of their customers (clients). And if it fails, it eventually pays a big price for it. i.e, The price of losing reputation, capital, market and the price for all legal actions applicable. So more guarantee to be expected.
Whom to trust? No one can be trusted for granted. We can not just blindly believe any software movement or company assuming that it will protect anyone’s‘ privacy or individual security. 
But you can see who can take responsibility of such aspects? Open source software developers have multiple builds and branched groups of developers. Who will monitor them? No warranty or guarantee is given so far. But only a lot of debates and arguments can be seen threading many pages of forums. These however can not say anything precisely ingenuity about privacy and user security. 

If opensource is only about freedom to have source code, and not about price, how does the claim of eradicating software piracy stands true? Every user can not go on adding code and compiling it for day to day tasks. Instead, a freeware (need not even be a opensource) or a paid licenced software may serve the purpose as it belongs to some identity and certification path to hold it responsible.

If there is a price to pay, in an economic world, it does not make any difference between open source and closed source., as every individual is not aware of coding. The only surviving stage for opensource movement is to remain free of cost (alternative) along with premium service. This is being practiced by many today, and the source code of community editions as given freely. The source code of premium edition is not given freely. 
Now, What if an individual gets access to the premium version of a opensource software release,  compiles it and distributes it to the public,; does it account for piracy?  
If software are developed for commercial purposes, why there is a compartmentalized movements called open source and source code restriction? Whatever code availed under free – community editions of software do not include premium features. Furthermore, any community contributions and improvements gets easily absorbed into commercial (premium version) editions! and we pay for support as well (exceptions do exist).  This kills the very purpose of opensource movement and cost freedom. That is just another business solution without any remarkable public benefit.

I do not hate opensource. I hate the hatred against co-existence. Opensource always speaks about liberty. But its people have not followed it well. Then let us not look commercial vendors as villains and followers of opensource moments as public well wishers, but let a genuinely helpful IT solutions arise from both sides of the software moments. 

I finally leave all options clearly to the choice of the readers of these texts to decide, what to choose for their (our) IT needs. 
About The Author
Rajesh Johnson Dcunha ICT admin is the admin for the hosting provisions and administration of services. Also tweaking and setting up CMS and other aspects. Some articles / writings also be posted.

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