Life Without Open Source???

Open Source is the basis for the Internet, Search Engines, Linux, iPod, Wikipedia, Droid (Android)  Firefox, OS X, Apache, PHP, Perl, Python, Ruby (Ruby On Rails), Drupal, Google Code, SSH, Buzilla, Gimp, OpenOffice

The list goes on. But it doesn’t end at software. There are open source hardware projects, open vehicles, open politics. Open source has influenced so many people on so many levels. But let’s just look at it from the geekier perspective. Imagine your day to day life without open source.

Imagine all of your servers were either Microsoft or Unix servers. Imagine you were having to code all of your sites with a proprietary language or, worse yet, using a closed-source application like Dreamweaver. Imagine Web 2.0 never came to be. How about VoIP (Voice over IP) and Skype? Imagine having to pay out for every single Web service and/or application you created or use for your company. Imagine the cost of security and the sum total of your businesses network. Imagine the Google Cloud never came to be. Imagine the Beowulf clusters never existed. Imagine no technology ever threatened the Microsoft monopoly. One Laptop Per Child????

The short-list of possibilities is, indeed, daunting. But ultimately, what it points out is that open source technology has, more so than Microsoft, helped technology become what it has become today. I do not negate the fact that IBM, IBM Clones, and Microsoft brought the PC to the home. But I personally can not imagine how that PC would be today without the community-driven push of open source. And what about my PC life without open source? And this goes beyond having to actually pay for software. This very idea quickly takes a dive into the question, “Would technology A even exist?” I use Wiki all of the time. I use Drupal and Xoops on a daily basis. I can’t imagine what would have come into existence to serve the same purpose as those  technologies (and how much they would cost.) Would there be an equivalent technology had they never been developed?