No vendor lock-in
OSS gives us the absolute guarantee that we and our customers are fully in control of our systems and that we are never the hostage of a single supplier.
Most OSS programs (Operating Systems and Applications) are very performant and can be operational on smaller and less costly hardware, often completely avoiding the need to upgrade hardware when upgrading software versions.
UNIX systems are well known for very good stability. Most Free/Libre and Open Source software is written using the UNIX paradigm. Also, due to the "many eyeballs" scenario, bugs in the software can be found by anyone and reported on the maintainers mailing list. This process allows code maintainers to address the problem in a timely fashion and provide fixes in the form of software patches.
Most mature Free Software applications have a remarkable level of security. Major security bugs typically only pop up with an average interval of many months up to many years. If such a security bug is published for an important application, a patch is typically available within hours or days. The availability of the source code, makes users of OSS software more aware of the details of operation and this can lead to a better understanding of what exactly is going on.
Free of license cost
The OSS licenses grant every user a free license to use the program without further limitations (and without a fee). For embedded devices, the per unit royalty cost of the SW is sometimes a large element in the total system cost and every dollar of saved royalties costs helps to keep the per unit cost as low as possible.
Flexibility and adaptabilityIn a development environment it is crucial to be able to make small or large modifications to customize the program for local use. Also, being able to solve certain important bugs immediately, without waiting for an official patch or next version from the supplier, is crucial for progress in a development environment.
Long life time
Due to the adaptability, the solutions have a much longer life time. It is possible to expand the software for new requirements, without being forced to buy a new version, or finding yourself stuck with a version that is no longer supported.
Support of Open Standards and Formats
Even more important for long life time of applications is the availability of all documents and wire protocols in Open Standard Formats. In this way, all documents and interfacing (also e.g. with governments) can be executed without the requirement of any specific software available from only a specific vendor. An inherent advantage of Open Source software is that the input and output formats are obviously known. For embedded devices, the consequence is that all communication protocols are effectively Open and documented, since the source code of the implementation is available.