Open Source Software Vs Proprietary Software

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About this sample

About this sample


Words: 1611 |

Pages: 3|

9 min read

Published: Sep 14, 2018

Words: 1611|Pages: 3|9 min read

Published: Sep 14, 2018

Table of contents

  1. Open Source Software
  2. Advantages:
  3. Proprietary Software
  4. Advantages:
  5. Comparison Between Open Source and Proprietary Software
  6. Open Source Software vs Proprietary Software Cost:
  7. Development:
  8. Flexibility:
  9. Availability
  10. Conclusion:

Open Source Software

The term open source refers to software whose source code is freely available on the Internet to the general public for use and modification from its original design free of charge. The term originated in the context of software development to designate a specific approach to creating computer programs. Today, however, open source designates a broader set of values what we call the open source way. Open source projects, products, or initiatives embrace and celebrate principles of open exchange, collaborative participation, rapid prototyping, transparency, meritocracy, and community-oriented development. The open source code is typically created as a collaborative effort in which programmers improve upon the code and share the changes within the community. Open source software is software with source code that anyone can inspect, modify, and enhance. Programmers who have access to a computer program's source code can improve that program by adding features to it or fixing parts that don't always work correctly.

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  • The group collaboration approach of open source projects benefits users of the software because errors are fixed faster.
  • New features are added and released more frequently.
  • The software is more stable with more programmers to look for errors in the code.
  • Security updates are implemented faster than many proprietary software programs.


The main disadvantage of open-source software is not being straightforward to use. Open-source operating systems like Linux cannot be learned in a day. They require effort and possibly training from your side before you are able to master them.

In addition, there are many ongoing parallel developments on open source software. This creates confusion on what functionalities are present in which versions.

Lastly, many of the latest hardware are incompatible to the open-source platform; so you have to rely on third-party drivers.

Proprietary Software

Proprietary software is computer software for which the software's publisher or another person retains intellectual property rights usually copyright of the source code, but sometimes patent rights. It is software that is owned by an individual or a company (usually the one that developed it). Proprietary software may also be called closed-source software or commercial software. Computer programs that are exclusive property of their developers or publishers, and cannot be copied or distributed without complying with their licensing agreements. Almost all commercial software is proprietary, but many excellent new programs. There are almost always major restrictions on its use, and its source code is almost always kept secret. Restrictions vary somewhat according to the license, but a typical requirement is that they include a copy of the original license. The most commonly used license, the GNU Public License (GPL), additionally requires that if a modified version of the software is distributed, the source code for such modified version must be made freely available.


Proprietary software companies use their profits to re-invest in the continuation of the product. If the creator of a proprietary software package goes out of business, then compatibility updates will not be performed, authorization servers won’t function, and eventually, the software becomes obsolete. · Proprietary operating systems like Windows and OS X make the overall user experience simpler and smoother. The wider range of options available in open source reduces the out-of-the-box appeal of the product as it requires users to set preferences and configure the system to their liking. · The multiplier effect is the process wherein more and more users are drawn to a specific product in this case, an operating system based on the increasing number of people already using it. More users means developers are more inclined to design software based around the operating system. This in turn spurs more users to switch to the operating system. Proprietary systems can have an advantage in courting users because of the advertising capabilities of the large companies designing them.


Proprietary software charges the licensing fee. Since developers sell their products to make a living, they charge for access to their product, and in some cases, these license fees can be substantial. · With proprietary software there is reliant on the program’s developer for all updates, support, and fixes. Updates may be slow in coming, depending on the size of the development team, and it may take some time to address security holes or other problems. In addition, if the primary developer goes out of business, you may have no further updates or support unless another company buys out the project. · Proprietary software systems rely on the development team identifying problems, or worse, security loopholes discovered in the wild. Some proprietary developers notoriously rely on security through obscurity, attempting to quash information about security weaknesses in order the prevent outsiders from utilizing them. · Open-source software generally offers more customization options than proprietary systems. In many cases, what is observed is what is got with a proprietary software package.

Comparison Between Open Source and Proprietary Software

The term open source refers to software whose source code — the medium in which programmers create and modify software — is freely available on the Internet; by contrast, the source code for proprietary commercial software is usually a closely guarded secret. Only the original authors of proprietary software can legally copy, inspect, and alter that software. And in order to use proprietary software, computer users must agree (usually by signing a license displayed the first time they run this software) that they will not do anything with the software that the software's authors have not expressly permitted. Microsoft Office and Adobe Photoshop are examples of proprietary software. Open source software is different. Its authors make its source code available to others who would like to view that code, copy it, learn from it, alter it, or share it. LibreOffice and the GNU Image Manipulation Program are examples of open source software. As they do with proprietary software, users must accept the terms of a license when they use open source software but the legal terms of open source licenses differ dramatically from those of proprietary licenses.

Open Source Software vs Proprietary Software Cost:

This could be the biggest difference between the two types. closed source software tends to have some type of cost for the software. Closed source’s pricing model includes the right to use the software, whether it be as an upfront cost or subscription. Open source, on the other hand, doesn’t have a cost associated with the core functionality. It can, however, have costs for additional features, assistance, or added functionality. Based on these factors, both closed and open source are on equal grounds. Closed source has a high cost associated with the software, whereas open source has little to no cost associated with the software but has costs associated with additional features. ·


Closed source software are the ones that generally handle the development and fixes, meaning it is under their discretion if they continue their ongoing development or not. Open source development is handled through ‘mass collaboration’. As a result, development and fixes usually continue as long as the community is active.


Closed source software will usually have a dedicated FAQ, manuals, and options to contact someone. If there is a problem with the software, you can submit a ‘support ticket’ and get a response in one business day in most cases. All of these things will be organized and well documented as well. On the other hand, for open source software, there are not many support options such as a dedicated and organized FAQ or contacting someone may not be available. Some of the only support options would be going through forums, reading articles, or hiring an expert.


Closed source software tends to have only as much flexibility as the creators intended. The flexibility only extends to the front-end because the functions are limited to what was programmed. Changing these things could void the warranty or cause even greater problems. Open source software tends to allow a lot more flexibility. You can modify the functions and even add community-created modifications or features to suit your needs. Depending on your need for flexibility either can be a viable option. Although due to the increased flexibility open source offers with their option to change their code, it tends to scale up easier.


Proprietary software is available from their respected companies that own the rights to the packages. Sometimes, trial versions are available for free download and testing. OSS are freely available over the net. Several OSS are also developed into a limited proprietary software with 24X7 support from the online community and the developer as well.


PS does not present an open look to the internal structure. Only user interfaces are provided to work with it. User cannot know the internal processing and other details. The source code of OSS is freely accessible along with the product. Any person can read, modify, build and distribute a tailored version of original product. Thus, it gives a transparent look at the core structure of the product. ·


PS is developed by specialized teams at vendor’s end only. Only finished products are provided at outlets. Since there is no unauthenticated modification, the result is always reliable. Since OSS are available on a number of unverified websites and even most of these distributions may be modified by any technologically sound user, every distribution is reliable in terms of security, robustness, performance. The reason is that if a user adds/modifies some component; it may work good individually, but, may clash with other components and ultimately degrade the product.

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The Open source software (OSS) and Proprietary software both have their own importance and values. Open source software is replacing the proprietary software because of their free license and its codes distributions. OSS has much potential for libraries and information centres, these concepts and their benefits and importance to libraries should be examined and explored for the wider audience and prospects for long-term preservation of scholarly works.

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Open source software vs proprietary software. (2018, September 13). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 25, 2024, from
“Open source software vs proprietary software.” GradesFixer, 13 Sept. 2018,
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