For the vast majority of developers and IT professionals, open source is a subject that cannot be circumvented. Open source represents that software that is free, and anyone can download, modify the source code as well as further use it for commercial purposes.
How Does Open Source Software Make Money
Most often, open source is equated with free. Although it is free, some capital-driven multinational commercial software producers have invested heavily in the development of open-source programs. So, how does open source software reap benefits?
How do ordinary developers find open source libraries as well as keep working on such projects and face the general trend of open source?
Selling Software vs Selling Services
It’s a fact that our copyright protection is relatively backward. Indians seem to refrain from purchasing commercial software.
From the basic Windows operating system to the Adobe family bucket, from the MATLAB research tools to various designing software, you can find Indians using cracked versions unanimously.
People are accustomed to buying expensive hardware and then searching for some cracked version of the program over the Internet. As a matter of fact, established commercial software organizations like Microsoft, Adobe, Oracle, VM, etc., used to be chart-topping, and they made a lot of money selling software licenses.
Nowadays, you can buy Windows 7 Home Edition at a price of ₹8500 on Amazon and Windows 7 Professional Edition at the cost of ₹15500. It seems weird to spend ₹15000 on a piece of software for a lot of people.
But from another perspective, large organizations such as Microsoft need to manage a large team of full-time employees to develop and maintain their software products. Microsoft is a massive company with more than 1,63,000 employees (2019 data). It is undoubtedly not so easy to pay so many employees.
Evolution of Source Code
Moreover, source code developed by the company’s employees is an essential part of the intellectual property of a commercial software company. Therefore to cover such a huge investment, Microsoft is very unlikely to share the software for free that employees have worked so hard to develop.
For the last few years, things seem to be improving. Microsoft, which has always been greedy, has now begun to display disbelief in capitalism. It has already started following the concepts of socialism and recently announced that anyone could upgrade to Windows 10 “for free”.
The sudden change is not only visible in Microsoft, some other organizations are taking it a step further with open-source software. Another great example will be Google, which open-sourced the Android operating system when the smartphone rose to popularity.
Providing the source code over the Internet allows everyone to download and modify them and then continue to use them for commercial use. Don’t capitalists want to make money anymore?
In reality, the competition has only got fiercer, and money is not so easy to make. The original license selling route has become primitive. Mobile users have already surpassed desktop computers.
Many programs were originally intended for computers, but today, you can run them on your smartphone. If organizations turn a blind eye toward such progress and keep following the medieval license selling routine, it will become hard for companies to occupy the user market anymore.
Although Windows is free to use, it is not entirely open-source, which means the general population cannot view its source code. On the contrary, Android is a complete open-source operating system. A few years back, smartphones were not so popular.
To win a place among different operating system vendors such as Apple, Nokia, and BlackBerry, Google made Android open source. Since it’s free, various hardware manufacturers have incorporated Android as their go-to operating system.
The android operating system provides an accessible foundation and saves a large part of the underlying work. Usually, these tasks are very laborious and time-consuming, and it isn’t easy to instantly obtain benefits. Today, the smartphone industry is divided into two camps: Android and Apple.
Except for Apple, all top smartphone manufacturers such as Samsung, HTC, Huawei, Oppo, Vivo, and Xiaomi have provided UI updates and other secondary development based on the Android system.
For some, it may seem that Google isn’t making any money from Android. However, this assumption is false, and Google follows an entirely different method for making profits. One of the most profitable services in the Android operating system is the Google Play app store.
According to the recent data, Google Play revenue crossed the 29.3 billion U.S. dollars in 2019.
Although it is still far behind Apple in the field of application stores, currently, it occupies more than 70% of the smartphone market and has massive potential for future growth. Moreover, various other Google services such as search, email, and map services are all highly dependent globally.
Advertisers often place their advertisements over such apps, and they all are included in Google’s traditional money-making machines.
As you all are aware of the fact that Google has a diverse business model and an open-source operating system is just the tip of the iceberg. It has also open-sourced multiple software in the field of artificial intelligence and cloud computing.
This business model of creating open-source software and then selling services is the same as the media industry in the Internet age. Mostly, all the articles over the Internet are free and published for earning traffic and followers.
With traffic and followers, you can bring advertisements, bring private goods, and even become a fan group, and the money is made.
Commercial IT giants have been leading the era of the open-source wave, while other organizations use it out of the box and purchase open-source software services from large companies when required.
For developers involved in open source projects, they can find packages and utilize them to enhance their competitiveness and skill to improve themselves and make more money.
About the Company:
Open Weaver is a web portal that offers billions of source code. If you need to develop code for some project and do not want to get bothered with storing it, it is convenient to use a free account on Open Weaver.
You can even create private repositories that will only be visible to the creator and those added to the project.
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