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The Microsoft killers

Open source software has come of age, and open source working methods are spreading beyond computers

By Azeem Azhar   February 2004

The recipe for Coca-Cola is one of the most closely guarded secrets in the world. Yet a small Canadian software firm has sold 150,000 cans of a rival fizzy cola, which tastes very like Coke, and has made the recipe public. The firm behind the drink, Opencola, makes software, not drinks. It used the drink (and its open recipe) as a metaphor for the most important trend in software today.

Unlike most traditional software firms, Opencola produces open source technologies. Open source is a philosophy for software licensing designed to encourage the improvement and use of software by anyone who…

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