When we search for computer software, we hard about open source software. They are freely available and free to use, we don’t need to pay for the software and they provide great value to the user. There are many open source software from Web browsers, Media software, Documents, Security software, Utility software, Image and video editing software.
Have you ever thought “What is Open Source Software?” and What are its main characteristics?” and “Why it is free to use?” Today we are going to answer these questions.
What is open-source software?
The term “Open Source” refers to any software or computer programming whose source codes are visible to everybody. So, the source codes are open for you to use. There are many software development companies that use open source applications and create software packages.
To use Open-Source Software we don’t need to pay. They are free to use, anyone can use the software and even source code can change or use to create new software.
Linux is an open-source Operating System whose source codes gave birth to Ubuntu. Google launched the Chrome Browser from the source codes of the Chromium Browser, which is also open-source. These are a couple of examples of how the source codes produce new software packages, both of which are open source.
Is Open Source Equal to Free?
To answer the question, we should learn more about open source. The source codes are available for you to use and then create new software packages. However, these newly formed software packages may involve costs.
Now, if we go back to the question again, open source applications are free to get. However, the customized software packages may not be free. It depends on the developer whether he want to charge anything or not.
Note:- Open Source Software is free but customized software packages may be free or paid.
Why do Companies Develop Open Source Software?
When a company develops an application, they don’t know whether people buy it or not, contains any bugs or not. Hence, they submit such applications to open source communities so that they can figure out its possibilities. The open source communities grab these chances and build software packages.
The companies then follow what the open source communities do with it and help them to upgrade those applications. Now, to answer the main question, the companies earn a reputation and to add to that, they also get to test their product for free.
What are the Fundamental Differences Between Open Source and Proprietary Software?
Open source applications are free to use, and the source codes are available. So, if you are a developer, we can use them as you wish. In the case of proprietary applications, also known as closed source applications, the company holds the legal rights to all assets included in that application.
Hence, you must buy these applications. However, even after you buy such applications, the source codes are cloaked. So, you won’t be able to see them.
Giant software development companies like Microsoft and Apple hide the source codes and take disciplinary measures to keep is encrypted. You can try encrypting Android, which is open source.
What kind of software should the general people use – open source or closed source?
As we have discussed the basics of open and closed source applications, we can now discuss which one you should use. The fact that open source applications are free to use, people should be interested in that. However, when we buy something, we should also consider the after sales service. In this aspect, the proprietary applications like Windows by Microsoft, or Mac by Apply, clearly has a better support team.
Open source applications allow you to develop any program or applications. If you are a developer, you are getting a jump-start as the source codes are available. All you need to be is to be associated with open source communities and let them guide you. All in all, we can say that open source is the future.