One compelling aspect of open source solutions is that they are developed bottom up by experts who work with these solutions on a daily basis. They do this because they are convinced that performance for their customers will be better if they co-develop fundamentals with the competition, rather than using their limited resources to develop less technically advanced solutions. In other words: They focus on differentiating themselves through their choice of trucks and logistics, providing the best service possible instead of building all streets themselves.
«Open source isn't about saving money, it's about accomplishing more and continuously innovating within the constraints of your budget.»
former President of IBM and CEO of Red Hat
Open source software has propelled the technology industry forward, revolutionizing and enhancing various aspects of our lives. Even the largest and wealthiest technology companies in the world leverage open source software and freely accessible data sources.
Linux® is an open source operating system (OS) originally conceived and developed as a hobby by Linus Torvalds in 1991. Linus embarked on this project during his studies, aiming to create an alternative, free, and open-source version of the MINIX operating system, which itself was based on Unix principles and design. This hobby has since grown into the operating system with the largest user base, widely used on publicly accessible Internet servers, and the sole operating system used on the 500 fastest supercomputers.
Signal is an encrypted messaging service for instant messages, voice calls, and video calls. Its instant messaging feature supports the exchange of text, voice notes, images, videos, and other files. Signal's encryption technology is considered top-notch. The application is developed by the non-profit Signal Foundation and its subsidiary, Signal Messenger LLC. Signal's software is free and open source. In fact, WhatsApp has adopted Signal's open code to implement full end-to-end encryption for all users by default. The differentiation among messaging apps lies in features such as usability, design, compatibility, and speed, which ultimately determine market position, rather than basic functions that could not have been developed in the same quality and timeframe through proprietary means.
OpenStreetMap is an open geographic database continuously updated and maintained by a community of volunteers through open collaboration. Contributors gather data through surveys, aerial photographs, and the importation of freely licensed geodata from other sources. This freely available database is utilized by numerous companies, including Amazon, Apple, ESRI, Garmin, Mapbox, and SBB.
Blender is a free, open-source software used for 3D modeling and more. It is supported by a dedicated community of developers worldwide and is compatible with Windows, macOS, and Linux. The software offers a wide range of extensions that add specific functionalities, such as the BlenderBIM add-on, which enables the creation of IFC data and the import, editing, and re-exporting of existing IFC models.