An intriguing development in the realm of commercial software has arisen over the last decade, from highly improbable beginnings. From its inception in the ‘hacker ethic’, freeware has had a huge impact on IT businesses around the world, most strongly in the guise of its spin‐off, open source software. The eventual consequences are that, for example, more than 60% of all the servers on the World Wide Web are running the Apache open source system, and Linux, the open source cousin of Unix, is challenging Microsoft’s products as the most popular business server operating system. Major IT users such as multinational banks, and major IT companies including IBM, Hewlett Packard, Sun Microsystems, Dell, Oracle, Informix, Intel, Fujitsu, AMD and Computer Associates are investing in and supporting Linux. In 1998, Netscape Communications made public (‘opened’) the source code for its Netscape web browser. In 1999 Apple published the source for the ‘Darwin’ core of its Mac OS X. The Perl freeware programming language continues to gain popularity for web‐based applications.
Bissett, A. (2003), "Hacker ethics in the marketplace: the example of freeware", Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, Vol. 1 No. 1, pp. 31-38. https://doi.org/10.1108/14779960380000224Download as .RIS
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