The History of Open Source Software


Open Source Evolutions: Software for the Masses

Even from its beginnings, open source software has been all about free accessibility, ease of use, constant improvement, and evolution over time. Want to know more about how open source software and development has changed over the years? We have all the information that you need right here. We will talk about the beginnings, the current state, and even just what the future may hold for open source development.

Origins of Open Source

Open source began in 1955 with IBM’s SHARE program. From there, it evolved in the 60s and 70s to pair with universities and researchers. This eventually led to the development of UNIX, a system that would help to put the programming community in-touch through UseNet. By the early 90s, UNIX dominated the infantine internet. In the meantime, the 1980s saw huge developments in open source, which led to the formalization of cooperation among programmers. This included the introduction of GNU, the General Public License making GNU users share their source code, and the establishment of the Free Software Foundation. Software licensing was also introduced in the early 1980s. Open source was ready to grow.

What Open Source Looks Like Today

Today, open source is an idea that nearly everyone knows. Around 64% of current servers are UNIX or UNIX-like in design. Only about 36% of the market is dominated by Windows. UNIX has recently fallen out of vogue for UNIX-like servers. Over half of most developers use open source in at least some areas. Those that currently do not even know how valuable open source development are currently happen to be evaluating its importance. Apache currently owns the largest piece of the marketing share pie, and they are far ahead of either Microsoft or Google.

Tomorrow & Beyond

By the year 2016, statistics show that open source will be used in almost every Global 2000 enterprises’ software portfolio. In 2010, only 75% already had this in their software portfolio. No matter what the future holds for open source software, it will continue to uphold the 3 (4 for non-computer scientists) freedoms that it has always held dear. These include use for any purpose, freedom to study and adapt this software, freedom to give free copies of the software away to anyone you would like, and the freedom to give away and release any improvements you yourself make to the general public.