The hairdressers and their software

Kristian writes:

[...] if I’m a business relying on a specific piece of software to drive my business, and this piece of software that happens to be Free, how can and will I be sure that my business will be able to survive should the software maintainer choose to drop the development?

Sure, I’ve got the source code, and can continue development myself, but what if I don’t want to, or can’t (eg. I run a hairdressing salon, and now nothing of software development). I could employ some clever geek or a Free Software company and have them maintain and secure my software requirements, but somehow it all seems a bit backwards.

Sure you would have to employ a geek to look after your software if you know nothing about software — that applies to both open and closed source software.

The difference, I believe, is that with open source software you have a choice of what geek to employ. And you can even do this regardless of the status of the group of people behind the software.

I don’t think it’s backward, it’s just a matter of being in a better situation with open source than with closed source: if your vendor stops supporting your software you naturally have a problem. With open source software you have the right to continue developing the software, the right to install it on your next server, and so on.

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