A lot of open source has been under constant development for several years -- a lot of open source software is very mature. Developers and users have numerous reasons for using open source software:
No or Low-cost -- Free software and operating systems can save hundreds of dollars on just one simple home computer. And it can save thousands of dollars for a small office. The lack of licensing fees can literally save hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars for large organizations and businesses. There is a total cost of ownership when you include support fees, but these should be comparable or a lot less than normal mainstream technical support fees (due to the high security, quality, reliability and stability of open source systems).
Software Quality, Reliability and Stability -- Software that has freely-readable and usable source code can be modified, improved, reviewed, tested, and sampled. Experienced developers and even beginning programmers can add ideas, take ideas and improve code in many ways. This improves quality and, in the long run, improves reliability and stability. For example, numerous open source-based operating systems have shown that they can literally run for years. (This code stability can also save money.)
Improved Security -- Open source code encourages review. It encourages users and programmers to find bugs and security flaws. And when problems are found, a variety of developers can share ideas and quickly fix and distribute fixes. Often fixes (patches) are available before the security flaws are officially announced. Open source code can have bugs just like closed-source, proprietary software. Nevertheless, although some problems are harder to find in proprietary, no-available-source software, these problems usually take a lot longer to be announced, fixed and the updated software distributed.
Crackers take advantage of problems in open source and closed-source software, but it has been proven numerous times, that open source software is fixed faster and is more secure. Due to the open peer review, open source software bugs are usually fixed before they are exploited.
In addition, due to the Unix nature and peer review of source code, computer virii (virus) and trojan horses are rare (and mostly non-existent). And most popular virii do not work under open source platforms.
Encouragement of open standards and protocols -- Open source code promotes the sharing of ideas. This improves computer ease-of-use. For example, the internet's and world wide web's recently rapid growth is based on open standards and open source code, such as BSD's TCP/IP and DNS (domain name system) code, the NCSA and Apache web servers, and the Sendmail email routing software. Companies and individuals who want to promote their software or ideas make their ideas and software code freely available. Open source fosters innovation by protecting and sharing intellectual property.
By using open source software, platforms can be consolidated -- saving money by enhanced interoperability.
Quick Development -- Open source developers believe in reusing ideas; they believe in sharing code and not reinventing the wheel. Nevertheless, they also believe in doing the task correctly. Ideas and code are rapidly shared and reused in a variety of similar and