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Netscape's act prompted Raymond and others to look into how to bring the Free Software Foundation's free software ideas and perceived benefits to the commercial software industry.

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Open-source software development, or collaborative development from multiple independent sources, generates an increasingly more diverse scope of design perspective than any one company is capable of developing and sustaining long term.

A 2008 report by the Standish Group states that adoption of open-source software models has resulted in savings of about $60 billion (£48 billion) per year to consumers.

A screenshot of Linux Mint running the Xfce desktop environment, Mozilla Firefox browsing Wikipedia powered by Media Wiki, a calculator program, the built in calendar, Vim, GIMP, and the VLC media player, all of which are open-source software.

Open-source software (OSS) is computer software with its source code made available with a license in which the copyright holder provides the rights to study, change, and distribute the software to anyone and for any purpose.

Many people claimed that the birth of the Internet, since 1969, started the open source movement, while others do not distinguish between open-source and free software movements.

The Free Software Foundation (FSF), started in 1985, intended the word "free" to mean freedom to distribute (or "free as in free speech") and not freedom from cost (or "free as in free beer").I can't imagine something that could be worse than this for the software business and the intellectual-property business." However, while Free and open-source software has historically played a role outside of the mainstream of private software development, companies as large as Microsoft have begun to develop official open-source presences on the Internet.IBM, Oracle, Google and State Farm are just a few of the companies with a serious public stake in today's competitive open-source market.The definition was based on the Debian Free Software Guidelines, written and adapted primarily by Perens.Under Perens' definition, open source describes a broad general type of software license that makes source code available to the general public with relaxed or non-existent restrictions on the use and modification of the code.Since a great deal of free software already was (and still is) free of charge, such free software became associated with zero cost, which seemed anti-commercial.

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