We have come across two teams when we download software that is Freeware Software and Open Source Software. Both of the software types are free to download and use. However, there are some major differences between Freeware Software and Open Source Software.
Despite the fact, they sound similar, freeware is not the same as an open source software. Before we jump into the shenanigans of who is who and what is what, you should understand what the fundamental differences of freeware to an open source software are. So, in this article, we will discuss What is the Differences Between Them?
What is freeware?
You may be disappointed to know that there is no conclusive definition of a freeware. It can simply be a software which is available in the market for free of cost. Meaning, you can download freeware software without paying for it.
Now, if you are a developer, freeware can be frustrating for you because the application may be free to use, but the codes are not visible or what we typically say closed source software.
An example of freeware software is Google Chrome. It is free to download and use but the source codes are closed, we can’t view the source code. Chromium is the open-source version of Google Chrome and some of the features of Chrome are taken from Chromium.
You may wonder, what is the point of releasing freeware software? The answer can be diverse. The company that developed the freeware software may be testing a prototype, or earn revenues via sponsor ads. Whatever the reason behind that, they typically don’t let you know the source codes.
What is open-source software?
Typically, when a company releases software with its source code visible to the developers, it is called open source software. So, it is always good news for you if you are a developer. There are many software development companies that use open source applications and create software packages.
You can literary operate software to know how did the company develop it in the first place. Then, if your skill permits, you can resume from their work and create something spectacular of your own.
Popular operating system Android is one of the best examples of open source software. Google developed the OS and released it in the market. Then, several companies used the existing source codes to build their very own personalized user interface, something we all see in mobile phones right now.
Freeware Software Vs Open Source Software
First and foremost, you should understand this – open source software is typically free to use, but freeware usually is not open-source. So, you can do your operations only to open source software, not to freeware software typically. However, if you are a random user, you can enjoy the freeware software as much as you want.
Now, if you focus on the purpose of creating both freeware and open source, there are many significant differences in spite of both being fee. Freeware software is typically built to draw attention in the market. The company can launch freeware software as a standard prototype.
In compare to freeware , open source is meant for other people to access it. If you are a developer, they built it for you to unlock the possibilities of the application. So, naturally, the purpose is quite distinct indeed.
|Freeware Software||Open Source Software|
|Free to use||Free to use|
|Source codes are closed||Source Codes are open for everyone|
|The developer can not modify it||The developer can modify it and can create new software using the existing source code|
Now, if we go back to the main question – Is freeware software is the same as open-source software? The answer can be ‘yes’ and ‘no’ both. If any freeware software whose source codes are visible, you can say that open source software as well. However, in most cases, freeware software like Skype, Google Chrome and Adobe Reader are not open source.