“Eu uso software livre, é gratis…”

Usar software livre apenas por que é grátis, tem sido um argumento usado por alguns para convencer usuários e empresas a migrar para essa plataforma. Embora seja um bom argumento (alias um ótimo argumento), não é o mais importante, principalmente porque deixa de lado as principais qualidades dos software livres. É preciso mostrar também a questão da liberdade (não apenas a liberdade de usar, mas a de poder escolher), a qualidade dos softwares, o compromisso da comunidade com a continuidade e o melhoramento deste.

Pensar em software livre apenas como software gratuito, leva o usuário a pensar que o (s) produtor(res) do software trabalha de graça, o que não é verdade. Todas as pessoas envolvidas no desenvolvimento de softwares livres, têm necessidade de uma renda, e alguns são remunerados por empresas interessadas no avanço daquele software, outras vivem de dar consultoria sobre o programa, ou seja, ninguém está trabalhando de graça, estão fazendo o melhor pra melhorar aquilo que eles acreditam ser algo útil e querem compartilhar esse produto (conhecimento) com o mundo e também obter benefícios disso.

É preciso deixar claro que o software livre é acima de tudo uma questão de liberdade, não de custo. Com a liberdade dada pelo software livre, o custo passa a ser uma conseqüência, isso é um fato. Diversas empresas tornaram suas operações, mais ágeis e flexíveis, e, devido ao isso reduziram custos, isso não aconteceu por causa do preço do software e sim pela utilidade e a liberdade proporcionada.

Estou citando apenas alguns dos aspectos, posso estar deixando muita coisa sem citar, aí chegamos a conclusão que, embora pese na escolha, o custo, nem de longe é o argumento mais importante na escolha de um software livre.

 

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