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Open versus Closed Standards in the Internet

From the designer, developer, and user standpoint, standards are extremely important.
Open standards allow the combination of products from different manufacturers to create a customized system. Without standards, only hardware and software from the same company could be used together.

The Internet and open standards

The Internet and World Wide Web are based on open standards such as TCP/IP and HTTP that are used by many different vendors.
The increased competition has driven down the price of the technology for the user, and has made it more popular. The increased popularity of the Internet has encouraged more vendors to adopt its standards, and so the momentum continues.
With the huge popularity of the World Wide Web and the high levels of support for its standards, it was only a matter of time before the Web was used as a vehicle for conducting business and making money.

Disadvantages of Open Standards

Open systems do have one major disadvantage that can influence companies to look at proprietary solutions: development time.
Because the standards have to be tested, approved, and ratified by the appropriate standards organization before they are accepted and adopted by the majority of vendors, open systems can take longer to develop and may be less innovative and than a corresponding proprietary solution.
Proprietary systems developed for a specific function or field may be a better fit and more efficient than open systems.