Open-Source vs. Proprietary Software Pros and Cons

Analyze the strengths and weaknesses of proprietary vs. open source software to determine what is best for your business.

No single paper can tell you without qualifications which is the best software development model for your organization to adopt: open source or proprietary. As with any decision involving significant complexities, the only thing one can say for sure is “it depends.” What can and will be done here is to provide you with the arguments for and against each class of software and outline other factors you must consider to reach a sound conclusion for your particular situation.

Although many of the characteristics of open source versus proprietary software packages clearly set them far apart, they also share several features too. The idea that proprietary and open source solutions are polar opposites is certainly not true. Software vendors have built proprietary solutions that they have later released as open source. Similarly, there are distributors of license-free, open source packages who also offer a for-profit, licensed and proprietary version built upon the original open source platform.

Outcomes

  • Weighing the Options Between Open-Source and Proprietary
  • Pros and Cons of Open-Source Software
  • Pros and Cons of Proprietary Software
  • Summary

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