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9. Freeware and shareware mean open source
Most users are familiar with freeware and shareware. Those two types of software are not the same as open source. If the source code to the software is not made available, that piece of software is definitely not open source.
Photo credit: Exapower.com
10. Not many people use it
In fact, you're probably already running it. Are you using the Firefox browser? If so, you are already using open-source software. Many people use open source without knowing it. OpenOffice, Thunderbird, Pidgin, Drupal, WordPress, GnuCash, Notepad++, and many more products enjoy widespread usage. And that doesn't even account for the snippets of open-source code that find their way into proprietary software.
A growing trend
Open-source software no longer bears the stigma it once had. Many open-source apps are now seen as either equal or superior to their proprietary counterparts. I would expect this trend to continue, especially as more users move away from the traditional desktop and to cloud-based or virtualised applications.
If you're considering the migration from closed- to open-source software, there are things you should know, but very little you have to know. Armed with the right information, your migration to open source can be painless. Alternatively, if you're already experienced in open source, perhaps you have encountered other popular misconceptions that you want to share.
This story originally appeared as 10 things you should know about open source before you use it on TechRepublic.