Merchant Solutions Blog

Merchant Services

Open Source Software Can Save your Business Thousands Of Dollars Annually

Open source software is freely available software written by individuals (or groups) who believe they can provide products better than what is available in the market place or those who want to offer a software alternative to the ones on the market today. It is called open source because the files that make up the programs are freely viewable and editable to all. Not only is the source available for free, under an open source license, you cannot sell the software. There are other ways open source developers earn money but that’s for another article.

The opportunities for small businesses are endless. Not only can you obtain these programs for free, greatly reducing your IT budget, but because the source is available and editable, your small business can have an integrated, customized software solution for thousands of dollars less than proprietary software without annual maintenance or service fees.

The benefits of open source software does not end at price and customization.

Open Source Software packages are almost always more secure than proprietary options, especially Microsoft.In fact, the US Computer Emergergency Readiness Team has recomended using web browsers other than Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, and many people are turning to the Open Source Firefox web browser for a more secure solution. Furthermore, a large percentage of the Internet’s web servers use an Open Source linux server running Apache, because it is more secure than Microsoft’s own IIS web server technology.



Open source software is safer and more stable than microsoft software. Imagine surfing the internet without needing a virus protection (savings of apx. $149.00 annually) or a tech guy to come in every few months to clean all the bad programs off your computers because they are running slowly.


Open source software is developed by people who actually use them every day. Therefore, you get a product that tends to have more features that non open source software. The open source allows you to have a customized solution developed to your specification for less than what it would cost you to purchase non open source software. A good place to find freelance computer developers is elance.


With open source software you can do all of the things (and more) you can do with microsoft windows without it costing you a dime. you will be able to go online, type documents, create spreadsheets, and email friends without paying for any expensive software at all. It’s that easy.


The open source community (you can find them on blogs and forums of their respective software) are a dedicated group of people who create these programs without any compensation. They are doing it because they want to do it and feel like they can contribute something worth while to others. It is a very noble thought. Some open source programmers make it big by being acquired by larger companies, but the vast majority of them don’t. They believe in their product and spend the their free time building and supporting it. As an open source user you will have the support you need to be successful.


Microsoft has over 90% of the computer software market. Open Source programers know this and the majority of their software is easily integrated into an existing IT infrastructure. You can test open source software little by little and integrate it into your current setup or jump right in.

Adapting open source software into your overall IT plans will offer security, customization and a better return on your investment.

Take a look at these Open Source programs to get an idea of what’s available:

Firefox web browser (alternative for Internet Explorer)
Open Office (alternative for Microsoft Office)
Thunderbird (alternative for Microsoft Outlook)
Gimp (alternative to Adobe Photoshop)
Ubuntu Linux* (alternative to Microsoft Windows XP)

There are many variations of linux distributions