The Pros and Cons of Open Source vs Proprietary Software

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Whether your business is looking for a new OS, design software or a CMS platform, the choice often comes down to either proprietary software or commercial software. While proprietary software often come with a steep price tag attached to them, they often boast of more advanced features than their commercial counterparts. Proprietary software is owned by the company that has developed it and its source code is always kept a secret.

Of late, however, commercial software, often called open source software (free), have made several technological advances, putting them almost at par with paid versions. With the gap between the two types of software steadily closing, choosing between open source vs proprietary software can become more complicated for a business. Ultimately, the right choice will largely depend upon your specific business requirements.

Here are the most critical pros and cons of open source vs proprietary software to evaluate when making a decision between the two.

1. Scalability

While proprietary and commercial software are almost neck to neck when it comes to small-scale projects, the real differences arise when the scale of the project increases. Proprietary software almost always emerges as the clear winner when it comes to large projects. Therefore, if your business requires software for large projects, then the choice is clear.

Even if your business currently only requires software for smaller projects, but aims to scale up projects soon, choosing proprietary software would be the best bet. This is because paid software will allow your company to expand the scope of work with greater ease. If, on the other hand, your business’ operations are, and will continue to be for the foreseeable future, small-scale, then an open source software is probably more than adequate for your requirements.

2. Price

Price is often the biggest deciding factor for companies trying to decide between open source software vs proprietary software. Proprietary software comes with licensing fees, maintenance costs and sometimes even subscription fees. All of these costs add up, making proprietary