Open source movement is amazing. Linux, FireFox, MySQL, Open Office etc etc. They had really changed the way people started looking at software. They save around $5-8bn every year for customers, cumulatively. There are always doubts and anti-campaign on open source software. Here we try to give the top 5 items that you do get and that you do not get in open source. Take it or drop it.
You get this. 1. Many to most of open source software are free. Open source need not always be free, beware. So you do not have to worry about licensing, budgeting etc. You get it fee, the biggest saving!
You do not get this. 1. Usually the upgrades are not that quick. Except products like FireFox or OpenOffice, you do get stable releases very late. Their nightly builds need not be stable. So you may start feeling "Will I get this feature or not?".
You get this. 2. A community support. You can see content to help in blogs, forums. A mindset of not being alone.
You do not get this. 2. 90-95% of open source products do not have phone or live support. You need to be prepared to wait, before you get a solution, if you face problems.
You get this. 3. You get source code. How it is built - you can see it inside out.
You do not get this. 3. You do not get the supporting specs, design documents, test cases for that in most of the cases. What can you and I do with the source code Linux or MySQL? At least I do not even need the source code; I do not know about you.
You get this. 4. You may get many islands of tools. For anything, you get a tool. For bug tracking - you get one tool, for task tracking you get one tool. You name it, you get it.
You do not get this 4. You will not get integrated ones. They come with some catch. If you want an integrated task, test and bug tracking system, like QAMonitor, you may not get it.
You get this. 5. A complete stack to build an end to end application. A UI platform, an operating system, a backend programming language, a web server, a database, a report engine, and IDE etc. But each one may be provided by different communities.
You do not get this 5. Time tested products. There are products that you can name like FireFox, Linux etc. At the same time, many open source products are dead within a decade; those development communities vanished. End of the day, everyone wants to make money. If an open source product does not make money, it is going to be obsolete. They must either get donations or they must come up with paid support or premium versions etc. to make money. It is not a charity.