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Difference between Open source Software and Proprietary Software

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  • Last Updated : 22 Jun, 2022

1. Open source Software: Open source software is computer software whose source code is available openly on the internet and programmers can modify it to add new features and capabilities without any cost. Here the software is developed and tested through open collaboration. This software is managed by an open-source community of developers. It provides community support, as well as commercial support, which is available for maintenance. We can get it for free of cost. This software also sometimes comes with a license and sometimes does not. This license provides some rights to users.

  • The software can be used for any purpose
  • Allows to study how the software works
  • Freedom to modify and improve the program
  • No restrictions on redistribution

Some examples of Open source software include Android, Ubuntu, Firefox, Open Office, etc. 

2. Proprietary Software: Proprietary software is computer software where the source codes are publicly not available only the company that has created can modify it. Here the software is developed and tested by the individual or organization by which it is owned not by the public. This software is managed by a closed team of individuals or groups that developed it. We have to pay to get this software and its commercial support is available for maintenance. The company gives a valid and authenticated license to the users to use this software. But this license puts some restrictions on users also like.

  • Number of installations of this software into computers
  • Restrictions on sharing of software illegally
  • Time period up to which software will operate
  • Number of features allowed to use

Some examples of Proprietary software include Windows, macOS, Internet Explorer, Google Earth, Microsoft Office, etc. 

Difference between Open-source Software and Proprietary Software:

S.No.OPEN-SOURCE SOFTWAREPROPRIETARY SOFTWARE
01.Open-source software is computer software whose source code is available openly on the internet and programmers can modify it to add new features and capabilities without any cost.Proprietary software is computer software where the source codes are publicly not available only the company which has created can modify it.
02.Here the software is developed and tested through open collaboration.Here the software is developed and tested by the individual or organization by which it is owned not by the public.
03.In open-source software the source code is public.In proprietary software, the source code is protected.
04.Open-source software can be installed on any computer.Proprietary software can be installed into any computer without a valid license.
05.Users do not need to have any authenticated license to use this software.Users need to have a valid and authenticated license to use this software.
06.Open-source software is managed by an open-source community of developers.Proprietary software is managed by a closed team of individuals or groups that developed it.
07.It is more flexible and provides more freedom which encourages innovation.It is not much flexible so there is a very limited innovation scope with the restrictions.
08.Users can get open software free of charge.Users must have to pay to get the proprietary software.
09.In open-source software faster fixes of bugs and better security are availed due to the community.In proprietary software, the vendor is completely responsible for fixing malfunctions.
10.Limited Intellectual Property ProtectionsFull Intellectual Property Protections
11.Usually Developed and Maintained by non-profit organizations.Usually Developed and Maintained by for-profit entities.
12.Examples are Android, Linux, Firefox, Open Office, GIMP, VLC Media player, etc.Examples are Windows, macOS, Internet Explorer, Google Earth, Microsoft Office, Adobe Flash Player, Skype, etc.

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