When it comes to choosing open source software, there’s certainly a lot to think about. Besides the obvious reason (that open source software is free), there are other considerations to take into effect. If you are thinking about open source software, be sure to consider the following.
- What is your intended use? Just because something is free doesn’t mean it’s the best for you. There are many open source software systems that are very flexible in use. It’s a good idea to look at the strengths and the weaknesses of each solution before you download it for your own use.
- Is the open source system compatible with your hardware? No matter what kind of software you choose, whether open source or not, it’s got to be compatible with your current hardware. Think about the different devices currently in use before choosing open source. Even though the open source solution is free, if what you download isn’t compatible, then you’re losing a lot of time. And you know what they say: “Time is money.”
- Along the hardware lines, think about your software. The open source solution you choose must also be compatible with your software in use. This is especially true if you are using the open source system for commercial use. The most important software to look at when you are considering compatibility is the software that was installed on your computer that didn’t come standard with the machine. Basically, anything that may be deemed “out of the box” should be looked at.
- Last, but certainly not least, is support. When you choose open source solutions, make sure you have a community of support to go to for help. One of the beauties of open source is that there typically is a community that will offer news, tips, and advice.