Open Source vs. Proprietary software

A relatively old and yet still current issue in the software industry is the existence of an open source initiative which undermines proprietary software maker’s revenues by offering similar or the same services for no cost. How this is possible and what implications if will have on the future software market is the topic I would like to post a couple of blogs in the coming weeks.

I have a keen interest in Open Source software and believe that most readers will be surprised at the variety of alternatives to expensive software packages. Yet the most important question I aim to offer an answer to is, how this phenomenon is remodeling the market. It effectively boils down to the question, where the paths of infinite communication and information possibilities and the traditional market understanding diverge.

Open Source software is whose source code is freely available. This implies that software developers are free to develop or participate in the development of existing open source projects and users can install and use the created products without payment.

What advantages or disadvantages open source software have over proprietary software is a topic for a whole different blog post, what we need to look at first off is where all this is taking place!

To understand the competition going on, we need to know, who the major players are:

Google repeatedly funds projects aimed at developing open source software, bringing together young and bright programmers to participate in events such as the Google Summer of Code where thousands of programmers develop freely available software, seemingly bringing no benefit to Google itself.

Canonical is a private company founded by the South African entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth that funds the Ubuntu project. This is the most popular distribution of Linux Open Source operating systems competing alongside various other Linux distributions against MacOS and Windows. Ubuntu has managed to make the operating system extremely user friendly and, thus, has boosted its popularity. Hardware companies such as Dell and Lenovo have even gone as far as to offer PCs with pre-installed Ubuntu distributions. (see Ubuntu on Dell)

More companies worth mentioning are RedHat, OpenMoko and The Mozilla Foundation. All of these offer software for different purposes, constantly improving and leveling with the proprietary competition.

Read more on: ITWire

by Johann Pfitzinger.

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2 Responses to Open Source vs. Proprietary software

  1. lisabu00 says:

    Hey Johann,
    incredibly intersting topic and great post!
    I love your way of writing and how you guide your readers through the text with clearly structured lines. I didn’t know much about that topic before – not even that linux is an open source, but as you told as it gives a lot new possibilities to look at, before purchasing costly software.
    For me – you could have made your post much longer without loosing the attention of your readers, because I absolutly want to know more about it right now. 😉
    I’m really looking forward to read more about it.
    Very good job!

  2. NerdyLaura says:

    Hi Johann,
    what a great blog post. I am so curious reading more about it because why should I use a software that costs a lot of money when there is a good alternative available for free? It’s crazy that almost everybody knows that there is open software available but something makes them not wanting to use them. Most of the people are for example using Microsoft Office (me as well) instead of Open Office. But why? I don’t know. Maybe because people expect a catch to it!?
    Your writing style makes it easy to follow and not loosing the track.
    I’m looking forward to get to know more about it.
    Good work!

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