One term that is floating around us these days, still unknown to many, is open source, or to say, open source software. The term got more familiar after the advent of blockbuster Android, albeit, Firefox and Linux were already present in the market.
So What’s This Open Source Software
Open source software, aka OSS, is a software whose source code is made available to people, companies, organizations, to improve, change, and edit the software for good, of course. Unlike a closed source software whose code is strictly controlled by its makers, OSS invites the developers to take things to the next level of innovation.
In some cases editing OSS doesn’t require technical skills, the sheer example of this is Wikipedia that is a vast online encyclopedia and relies on user generated content.
Closed source software is also called proprietary software. Its code is the property of its developer who keeps it secret from its rivals in the market so no one really copies it and demolish its monopoly. Proprietary softwares are often regarded having more tight security and well prepared documentation as compared to open source software.
One major factor that worries every dev is that lots of money gets involved to build a closed source software. This form of the software can be very lucrative for the companies as it’s only they who can provide the public with necessary updates, like Apple do.
Which One Scores Over The Other
I will save my opinion for last.
The trend is changing rapidly as we have seen Google is prevailing the consumer market more quickly than Apple due to its Android operating system that is freely available to dozens of smartphone manufacturers like Samsung, HTC, Motorola, LG, and Asus.
Open source software always has the capability to penetrate in the market steeply and provides wealth of opportunities for many to benefit from it. Starting from its maker to its distributor and developers who keep improving its source code as it evolves.
The money making factor certainly dims the concerns inherited with OSS. The open nature of such softwares leaves lots of loopholes for cyberattackers to hack them and misuse the data retrieved from this hideous practice. Many industry experts have pointed towards this vulnerability of OSS. This is why you would have heard numerous cases of Rooting the Android.
Since OSS can be distributed to more than one company users cannot blame a single authority for shortcomings found in the software. Another factor that frees the makers from this headache is the involvement of devs from around the globe who invest their skills and time on such softwares to fix the bugs. So, nothing directly comes back to a real maker.
OSS is also rebuked for lack of technical and general support at times.
With all said, I think proprietary softwares are still a safer bet in this open source culture since nobody wants to risk his or her security for timely ride of fun.
The key point here is that if security concerns about OSS are removed in the future there’s no stopping for it to curb the closed source softwares completely.
Find more details at Open Source Initiative.