Everything You Should Know about the Open System [MiniTool Wiki]

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What Is an Open System

Open systems refer to computer systems that offer interoperability, portability, as well as open software standards. To be specific, you can plug in or interoperate with items on this system. Certainly, the open system also indicates the specific installations configured to allow unrestricted access by people or other PCs.

Take the PC as an example. Though the fundamental standards are controlled by Microsoft, Intel and AMD, a large number of hardware devices and software applications are created and sold by other vendors for the computer.

The open systems indicate the Unix world because Unix runs in more types of computer hardware compared with other operating systems. To get more information about open system, please keep reading this post of MiniTool.

The Development of Open System

The open system was popularized in the early 1980s, which was different from the well-known mainframes and minicomputers used at that time.

Different from older legacy systems, the newer generation of Unix systems have standardized programming interfaces and peripheral interconnects. Then the third-party development of hardware and software was encouraged. The open system definition becomes more formalized in the 1990s because of the emergence of independently administered software standards.

Though computer users are accustomed to a high degree of hardware and software interoperability, the open system definition could be prompted by Unix vendors in the 20th century. However, the trend was resisted by IBM and other firms for decades. The situation starts changing in the first part of 21st century.

Many of same legacy system vendors like IBM and Hewlett-Packard begin to adopt Linux as part of their overall sale strategy. The open source is marketed as trumping open system. As a consequence, an IBM mainframe with Linux on IBM Z is marketed as being more of an open system than commodity computers.

As a return, more and more enterprises are opening the source code to their products. One of the most notable examples is the Sun Microsystems and their products – OpenOffice.org and OpenSolaris projects that are based on their previously closed-source StarOffice and Solaris software products.

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Open Systems VS Open Source VS Open Standards

Open systems refer to open platforms, while open source refer to the software source code and rights about its redistribution. But open systems may employ open source software or proprietary software.

The open system may not employ open standards. The Windows computer probably is the primary example of an open system that is not an open standard. On the other hand, open standards imply open systems indeed. And the two terms (open systems and open standards) are often used synonymously.

There is no definite reason why an open standard could not be employed in a closed system that can not be extended or enhanced by a third-party. Read here, you may tell the difference between open systems and open source & open standards.

You may be also interested in this: Some Basics You Should Know about Windows Server 2003

Bottom Line

What is an open system? You may have a comprehensive understanding of open systems after reading the article. For instance, you will learn the evolution of open system and the distinction between open system and open source & open standard from the post. Here comes the end of the post.

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