Installation and usage of free and open source software should be easier for most people.
Open source is part of any software developer, millions of lines of code exist on the Internet, even the Internet itself runs on open source and free software, all software around the world uses at least one or several open source and free software libraries.
Free software and open source movements have grown side to side to really amazing technological developments, lots of ethical, moral and social details surround them, but mostly just technically skilled people can really start using and take advantage of that type of software.
Small business and open and free software
A week ago, an accountant consultant friend of mine called me, a friend of his was searching for a software solution, he explained his needs, told me it was for two restaurants that where soon opening, and that he was requesting proposals for the software he needed.
If i owned a restaurant, I would just had to spin a couple of servers, researched and installed an ERP open source software to fit my needs, configured it, and in a couple of weeks it would likely be a good first step, probably my software would have been better than the average restaurant solution.
Why I would chose open source?
Open source has several advantages.
Fixed costs are low, mostly just to pay the servers where it will be running, the monthly price could be as low as a couple of lattes each month.
Cloud software has many advantages, I can use it from basically any device connected to the internet, so there would be no problem if i open or changed restaurant locations in the future, I could still use the same software.
If the software I chose, has a strong community behind it, it would likely mean that with time it will improve, features will improve and more users will keep making it better.
If I want to adapt it to very specific needs of mine, I can pay experts that exist around the world, that is a big benefit of open source projects.
I won’t have vendor lock-in problems, when I need help, I can access the community forums, other users or businesses that are pro’s in the software I’m using.
The restaurant owner probably has never configured a server in the cloud, probably has never listened about what open source is.
How using open source in the cloud could be easier?
Most people around every corner of the world owns a smartphone, and knows how to use it, they know their appstore, that allows them to try and use different apps on their phone, quite easy.
Our dream with Atmosphere is to become the platform for open source cloud software that people like the restaurant owner can seach, test and use, without having to know how to spin up a server and all technical details that are part of it.
Atmosphere can be used right now, there is still room for improvement, to use it you can visit https://atmosphere.innovare.es
Another important feature of Atmosphere is that itself is a Free Software project, if you want to contribute you can get the code at: https://github.com/innovare-atmosphere/atmosphere
If you have any comments or questions about Atmosphere, let me know firstname.lastname@example.org