Open Source Software & U.S. Government Acquisitions

This white paper by David Wheeler provides a high level overview about Open Source Software (OSS), what it is, why all major OSS products are essentially very similar to commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) software, how OSS developed, and how it can be applied to U.S. government acquisitions.

OSS presents governments with the promise of controlling their own destiny: freedom from vendor lock-in, vendor abandonment, and conflicting vendor goals. In short, OSS approaches have the potential in many cases to increase functionality, quality, and flexibility, while lowering cost and development time.