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Open Source: the Future is Here

Open-source software is an idea whose time has finally come. For twenty years it has been building momentum in the technical cultures that built the Internet and the World Wide Web. Now it's breaking out into the commercial world, and that's changing all the rules. Are you ready?

This site offers several complementary views of the open-source phenomenon. You can read a brief introduction, a techie/hacker's case, a businessperson's case, and a customer's case. Still not convinced? Then read some third-party case studies.

Those of you who regard Microsoft products as the acme of computing can even read the Halloween Documents, two annotated Microsoft internal white papers on open source.

The phrase `open source' has been registered as a certification mark. You can examine the Open Source Definition that sets the conditions for use of this mark. You can read about software that qualifies and our branding program.

There is now an organization dedicated to managing and promoting the Open Source trademark for the good of the community, the Open Source Initiative. You can read our launch announcement, and our Open Letter to AOL. We are seeking qualified board members for this organization.

We've created an Open Source Wire Service for the press. To subscribe, send email to wire-service@opensource.org with the e-mail address you want subscribed, and a sentence explaining who you write for. This address will only be used for press releases.

If you aren't writing for the press, don't worry! You'll be able to see our announcements on Usenet newsgroups and elsewhere, and we'll have an announcement list server up for you soon!

You can read a brief history of the open-source concept, and browse links to other open-source-related resources. We also maintain a page answering Frequently Asked Questions.

You can see what's new on this site.

We're looking for an open-source logo. You can submit yours on the contest page.

For news related to open-source projects, you can try this news.com search; or try this one to exclude Linux hits.

Please consider signing Clay Shirky's petition urging the federal government to evaluate open-source software. This petition is sponsored by the Open Source Initiative.

This site is still evolving as we think through the implications of open source in the commercial world. We don't claim to have all the answers yet, so mail us with your thoughts and criticisms. Also, please send us URLs of articles and papers on commercial trials of the open-source model, Linux, and related topics.

Send questions or suggestions about this page to webmaster@opensource.org