Open-source software (OSS) is computer software with its source code made available and licensed with an open-source license in which the copyright holder provides the rights to study, change and distribute the software for free to anyone and for any purpose. Open-source software is very often developed in a public, collaborative manner. Open-source software is the most prominent example of open-source development and often compared to (technically defined) user-generated content or (legally defined) open-content movements.
Open source is an approach to coding and creating software. It's free to use and, as the name suggests, denotes a code that is open to be used, adapted and distributed by anyone. You can examine it and learn from it, change the purpose of it and even share it. This approach can offer huge cost savings, but it's the ability to play with the software which offers the greatest benefits.
For a software company, collaborating with competitors by contributing to a common open source project frees up resources to improve user experience or add features that make consumers choose one product over another. A company may also decide it is going to make more money from support than selling licences to its software - making the software available at no cost is a way to rapidly expand the market for support.
To ensure that the use of closed data standards does not result in open source software being excluded from public procurement and departments being locked into overly expensive, uncompetitive solutions, the cabinet office has also published a set of 'open standards principles
open source not only promotes creativity but helps make technology more democratic allowing a community to work together to solve common problems.
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