Well, that’s a slightly unfair title. Here are some reasons why free, open-source software can be, and often is, better than commercial software.
- The developers of the software tend to be directly interested in producing a high-quality, well thought-out tool; it is often s0mething that they will be using themselves.
- Open-s0urce, means that the code is open to scrutiny, criticism, review and update.
- Likewise, the documentation is usually available for scrutiny. All technical details and capabilities are published.
- Being free shows a pure honest motive for development, and also encourages widespread adoption.
- Usually, the software will be developed by a reasonably large community of developers. Usually, the development remains active.
- Often, the software is supported by a community of users and developers through an open forum or mailing list.
There is very little you need to buy. I know of few areas where there’s not an excellent free tool available as an alternative to a commercial one. In many cases, the best of the free, open-source tools are actually superior in stability and functionality to the industry-standard commercial tool.