Open Standard refers to a set of specifications and rules that describe the design or operational process of something, such as a program or device. These rules are usually standardized by an independent international standards body that makes sure that they are, in fact, the best possible practice, and also fair to users and creators alike. There are standards for just about everything from coding to the assembly of personal computers – they don’t necessarily always have to be obeyed, but they should be wherever possible, and in paid products usually are.
Technipages Explains Open Standard
Open standards serve multiple purposes – on one hand, they can help users familiarise themselves with new products and make it easier to switch between similar products that work the same way, on the other, they also encourage rapid market growth if they encourage cooperation between manufacturers.
Specifically, standards that promote inter-operability such as the use of identical phone charging ports across different phone providers means that chargers produced will fit any phone, even one from a different brand.
The opposite of this is a proprietary standard, where one company or creator pushes their standard onto the market in the hopes of everyone else adapting to it (rather than everyone agreeing on something). This rarely works in reality and often disadvantages the proprietor of that standard, as it can be ignored in favour of an open one.
Open standards are also better for cross-platform computing – so, use of different machines running different systems and software on one network. Both iOS and Android phones support the use of Bluetooth, for example.
Common Uses of Open Standard
- Open standards benefit healthy competition and cooperation between different (competing) vendors.
- Proprietary standards are rarely more successful than open ones.
- A good set of open standards is usually reviewed by an independent panel of experts.
Common Misuses of Open Standard
- Open standards mean that the tech it describes is publically available.