Hiding in Plain Sight: A Look at Everyday Open Source

Did you know that over 2 billion people use open source everyday?[3]

A 2011 analysis revealed that over 75% of the top 10,000 websites ranked by volume of visits ran on open source servers.1 A later 2016 survey of over 1,300 IT executives revealed that 78% of the respondent companies ran all or part of their operations on open source software that is nearly double the proportion reported in the 2010 edition of the same survey.2 While open source is best known in software, its reach extends far beyond, to hardware, healthcare, research, content generation, government, and standards.


Built on top of Linux, Android is a fully-featured operating system commonly used in mobile devices. The Android source code is fully open, allowing anyone in the world to learn from and build upon the codebase. www.android.com


Used by hundreds of thousands internationally, Arduino is an open source hardware and software platform for exploring, prototyping, and building interesting and useful technology projects. Arduino's integrated development environment (IDE) is open source and the original design files for Arduino hardware are also available under an open source license. www.arduino.cc

Center for Open Science

The Center for Open Science supports the Open Source Framework (OSF), a set of standards promoting openness and transparency of scholarly research, funding of research, and access to research output. The OSF seeks to foster this open exchange of ideas for timely and effective solutions for disease, poverty, social injustice, and the consequences of climate change. www.cos.io

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO)

ISO develops and publishes standards specifying the behavior, functionality, and usage of products, services, and systems across nearly all industries, including technology, food safety, agriculture, and healthcare. ISO standards are developed through a consensus system drawing on the expertise of its 161 national standards body members. www.iso.org


Called the "most successful open source project in history," Linux is the world's most influential operating system. Linux is used by over 95% of the top 1 million websites, over 80% of smartphones, almost all of the top 500 fastest supercomputers, and most global stock exchanges. www.linuxfoundation.org/projects/linux

MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW)

This website from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology allows free access to nearly all of the university's course materials. MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) holds materials from over 2,400 courses and has received over 300 million visitors since its creation. ocw.mit.edu


  1. 75% of top 10k websites served by open source software. Pingdom Royal. 2012. Accessed 3 Jan 2018.: http://royal.pingdom.com/2012/05/22/75-percent-top-10k-websites-served-by-open-source-software/
  2. The Tenth Annual Future of Open Source Survey. Black Duck Software. 2016. Accessed 3 Jan 2018.: https://www.blackducksoftware.com/2016-future-of-open-source