Product distribution probably seems very simple to the general public. Most people probably believe that it is simply how the product enters the end user’s hands. This is true, but with software distribution there are a couple different methods that the average person probably doesn’t know about. Open and closed source are the two ways in which software is distributed. They both have their advantages and disadvantages, but when it comes to operating systems, the choice between open and closed source can make or break it for the IT professional. While initially it may sound confusing, the difference between the two is actually quite simple. Closed source software is the more well-known of the two. Most software is actually closed source. This means that the coding of the programming is hidden from the end user, and there is no way to modify it. The product is essentially “as is” and so the end user is restricted to using the program only in the ways that the software developer allows it. Microsoft, the developer of Windows, has been long dedicated to this form of software distribution. Windows is a closed source operating system and there is no way for the IT professional to edit or modify the coding to force the system to operate how he sees fit. In effect, when you purchase Windows, you are actually purchasing the rights to use the software, not the software itself. This is not the case with closed source. With closed source software, the source code if fully released to the public. This means that the end user has the option to modify this coding for whatever purpose he or she sees fit. Each and every aspect of how the system works is viewable and open to modification. Linux is the defining model of an open source operating system which was created by Linus Torvalds in 1991. There are many different version of Linux available today due to the nature of its open source distribution, and they are all the most...
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