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Arguments about open source

Open source may have great value for schools, especially in total cost. There are signficant drawbacks compared to proprietary software.

The table below summarizes some arguments about open source, with links to more detailed discussion. These arguments describe the best examples of current open source and proprietary software. Each argument has been rated as true, false, or maybe, based on its validity and relevance to schools. The most important arguments are marked .

Total cost of ownership

Proponents say:
Opponents say:
 

Features & quality

Proponents say:
Opponents say:
 
 

Deployment & maintenance

Proponents say:
Opponents say:
 
 

Users & migration

Proponents say:
Opponents say:
 
 

Free markets & choice

Proponents say:
Opponents say:
 
 

Principles & rights

Proponents say:
Opponents say:
 
 

Table: Arguments about open source. Adjacent arguments are not necessarily in opposition.

Open Options is a product of the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory. These materials are in the public domain and may be reproduced without permission. The following acknowledgment is requested on materials which are reproduced: Developed by the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory, Portland, Oregon.

This Web site was developed and maintained by the Northwest Educational Technology Consortium. The federal funding for the regional technology consortia program ended on September 30, 2005, and no further updates are planned unless additional funding becomes available. However, much of the content is still useful and NWREL will continue to provide access to this site to support educators and to meet its own technical assistance needs.

 

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