Free As In Beer
One of the great charms of open-source software is that it's free. Sort of.
As any real (read: employed) programmer working with open-source software can tell you, free software ain't free. The minute you spend, well, one minute working on the code, you’ve spent your company's money. And every additional minute costs more money—to say nothing of the lab time, bench instruments, software licenses, and other resources you and your colleagues devote to the effort. You get the idea.
Yet "free" open-source software exerts an irresistible attraction for many developers and their employers. Sometimes it's the perceived freedom from tyrannical commercial RTOS companies. Sometimes it's the flexibility to make changes or tweak code. Sometimes it's motivated by the availability of talent. If all the cool kids are using open-source software, maybe we should, too.