Open source software (OSS) means the source code of the software is open for viewing and editing. The users have the freedom to edit the source code, rename it and use it as they wish. This is contrary to proprietary software, which does not allow the buyers/users to look at the source code.
OOS can be priced.
Free Software (FOSS) – not priced at all.
The similarity between the two is that both OSS and free software enable the users to view and modify the software code.
India’s per capita income is INR 26,430($600), while personal computer costs INR 10,000($227) and proprietary software & office productivity costs approximately INR 11,000 ($250).
A Cost comparison :
Linux(redhat,fedora,ubuntu etc.) OpenOffice by Sun Microsystem PostGresql, MySQL etc. Windows XP – INR 7500 to 9000 Microsoft Office – INR 20,000 Microsoft SQL database Server – INR 50,000 + (For small business) Up to 10 crores (For enterprise use) Open Source Alternative Proprietary software
In the area of e-Governance, the government spending on software development can be made more efficient if it adopts the open source model that promotes the sharing of software code. Government departments across different states have the same requirements and instead of each government department developing separate programmes for the same task, they could share the same code base and make minor changes to suit the needs of each state.
Since e-Governance software uses citizens personal data, there must be a efficient Provision of efficient security measures.
Collaborative nature of open source development ensure better security. As the source can be evaluated, vetted & fixed by the open source community. System vulnerabilities often discovered by the community itself not by hackers.