Differences

what is the difference between open source software and proprietary software

difference between open source software and proprietary softwareWe explain that what is the difference between open source software and proprietary software with table. Technology is something that plays a very important role in all of our lives. And being trapped in our homes during a pandemic has made technology part of us.

We all deal with many devices and other objects and therefore we come across different types of software on a daily basis.

The software helps us perform specific tasks. It also allows us to operate a computer. It acts as a mediator between the hardware and the computer.

In short, the software is a crucial part that enables its users to operate and perform any specific task. An important distinction seen in software is open source software and proprietary software.

The difference between open source software and proprietary software is that open source software is open for free use and open collaboration, while proprietary software is copyrighted without open access and limited flexibility.

Comparison table between open source software and proprietary software

Comparison parameter Open source software Proprietary software
Definition Open source software refers to software that contains licensed source code that is open for free use, modification, and distribution. Proprietary software refers to the type of software that contains a licensed source code and is copyrighted for its use.
Collaboration Open source software is developed for open collaboration. The proprietary software is not designed for open collaboration, but only for the creator and users who have paid for it.
Access Open source software is open access, meaning anyone can access it. Only those who developed it and those who paid for it can access the proprietary software.
Flexibility Open source software is flexible, meaning anyone can use, modify, and distribute it. Proprietary software has restricted flexibility, that is, there are restrictions on its use.
Example FreeBSD (Berklee Software Distribution), Android, LibreOffice, Ubuntu are some examples of open source software. Windows, Microsoft, macOS, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Flash Player are some examples of proprietary software.

What is proprietary open source software?

The software can be divided into two types: –

  1. Open source software
  2. Proprietary software

Open source software refers to the type of software that has a free licensed source code that is open to everyone.

Open source software started with Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software Foundation.

He is hailed as the pioneer of free software. He wrote and published the GNU General Public License in 1989. This is a free software license, free for anyone to use.

The characteristic feature of open source software is that it is developed for open collaboration.

Although it may be licensed, open source software enables collaboration between people. That is, people can make changes to its source code and other features.

As the name suggests, open source software has open access. Anyone can access it. Anyone can access its source code.

Open source software is also appreciated and known for its flexibility. Users of open source software can easily interpret, modify, use and distribute it to anyone else, without restrictions.

However, this software cannot be used without programming knowledge.

Open source software is generally made and is suitable for an open community of users.

In other words, this type of software is intended for a large group of people who have basic programming knowledge and wish to collaborate and distribute their own creations or the work of others.

Examples of open source software are as follows: –

  1. Android
  2. FreeBSD (Berklee software distribution)
  3. LibreOffice
  4. Ubuntu
  5. GNOME
  6. Firefox

What is proprietary software?

Proprietary software is another type of software. Proprietary software refers to the type of software that is copyrighted and licensed in terms of its use.

Proprietary software is generally paid for. That is, you will have to pay for its license and only then can you use it.

The proprietary software is not designed for collaboration of any kind. It is created solely to be used by the creator and other users who have paid for the license.

Unlike open source software, proprietary software does not have open access. Only those who own it and those who have developed it can access it.

Another important feature is related to its flexibility. Compared to open source software, proprietary software has very limited flexibility.

It has restrictions on its use. Proprietary software is copyrighted. That is, the original creator or creators own the intellectual property rights to the source code.

Therefore, this software has restricted flexibility as it is protected by copyright. However, anyone can use the proprietary software, regardless of their abilities.

This software is not designed for an open community, but for a group of people who own the rights to the source code and for those who have paid to use it.

Examples of proprietary software are as follows: –

  1. Windows
  2. Microsoft
  3. Mac OS
  4. Adobe photoshop
  5. Adobe Flash Player
  6. iTunes

Main differences between open source software and proprietary software

The differences are as follows:

  1. Open source software is software that is open for everyone to use. But proprietary software is software that is copyrighted.
  2. While open source software is built for open collaboration, proprietary software is not designed for collaboration, but only for the creators and users who paid for it.
  3. Open source software has open access. But proprietary software has limited and restricted access.
  4. Open source software is flexible, meaning anyone can use it, modify it, and distribute it. But proprietary software has limited flexibility. Its creators own the right to its source code and only those who have paid for and purchased it can continue to use it.
  5. Open source software is not intended for those who do not have any basic programming knowledge. While the proprietary software can be used by anyone regardless of their skill level.
  6. While examples of open source software are FreeBSD, Android, LibreOffice, Ubuntu, and Firefox, examples of proprietary software are Windows, Microsoft, Adobe Flash Player, and Photoshop and iTunes.

Final Thought

Both open source software and proprietary software are different types of software, differing in several categories.

The main difference is that while the former is open for free use by anyone, the latter is protected by copyright and has restricted access.

While open source offers open collaboration, proprietary software does not offer collaboration.

Open source has flexibility, while proprietary software has restricted flexibility.

While users of the former have the right to modify and distribute to anyone, the creators of the latter own the rights to the source code and only those who have paid for the software license can use it.

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