Open Source Software: Mitigating the Risks to Reap the Rewards

Initially developed by Richard Stallman in 1983 and popularized by Linus Torvalds in the early 1990s, open source software has evolved tremendously over the last 37 years. Although it started out as a niche practice, it became more mainstream in the 2000s. Its value was initially verified by Sun Microsystems’ $1 billion acquisition of MySQL in 2008, and more recently by IBM’s purchase of Red Hat for $34 billion last year. Now the most popular open source software, GNU/Linux runs on nearly 70% of web servers and is maintained by more than 15,000 unique programmers around the world. However, there remains an ongoing debate within the tech industry on both the pros and cons of open source software. We’ve taken a look at a couple of each and discussed below.