First of all, let us discuss what proprietary and open-source software are. Proprietary software is a piece of software that is owned by a company or an individual, usually the one that developed it. It includes many restrictions when it comes to its use and its source code is almost always kept secret.
A quick reminder, source code, often referred to as just source or code, is the original version of the software written in a human language, meaning that it can be read by anyone.
Open-source software (OSS) is software with source code that is readable and modifiable by all its users. It is always up to date and it is inexpensive.
The main difference between proprietary software and open-source software is that when using proprietary software one has to rely on himself but can keep the secrecy of the code, whereas when using open-source software one shares the software developed by other people.
When choosing which one of the two types of software you want to you, you should consider their advantages and disadvantages.
Pros and cons of proprietary software
You will have a competitive advantage when using this type of software. No matter whether a robot or a person developed the software, there will be something unique about it. This allows the user to attract investors or the company to attract more clients.
Another advantage of proprietary software is that it provides a high level of independence since the user of the company rely on their own software, which they can change the way they like. This kind of independence also brings more safety.
On the other hand, there are some disadvantages of proprietary software as well. The main issue is that it requires certain resources for its development, such as knowledge and money. Imagine having a task to write an article – would you open, for example, MS Word and do the job yourself or pay to have a word-processing software that will do it for you?
Pros and cons of open-source software
When using open-source software, you depend on other people to complete your task, which has both advantages and disadvantages.
Regarding the advantages, open-source software provides a familiar and successful model that you can see beforehand. It is cheap or free of charge and it is faster to use because there are many tools that help you get your system working. In addition, popular open-source software is very reliable, since it has been modified by a multitude of skilled developers.
On the other hand, there are some cons of open-source software as well. First of all, you rely on the software provider, meaning that they can increase the price of the software and cause trouble to you. Also, their user support can be quite costly, which is why you need to have a plan for that. Finally, since open-source software is used by a lot of people, your software will not be unique and you will not have a competitive edge like someone who uses proprietary software.
In conclusion, both proprietary and open-source software have certain advantages and disadvantages. It cannot be said that either of the two is a better option by itself. In fact, that depends on what you want to use the software for.