Open Source Software VS Free Software – A Comparison

Both open source software and free software sounds really similar, and both of them are distinguished from paid software which comes with a monetary cost. Having said that, open source software and free software have a number of differences that you should be familiar with. In this article, we will discuss the differences between free software and opensource software. Without further ado, let’s start:

1. Expenses

This is the main difference between closed source applications and open source applications. Making use of open source applications will let you reduce your expenditures on computer software, allowing you to focus your funds on other aspects of your business. It can save you licensing costs and maintenance charges. The only expenditures that you will shoulder on using open source software are expenses for paperwork, media as well as help and support.

On the other hand, closed sourced applications are generally more expensive, with payment models that are renewed yearly. This means that you’ll be paying the license fee every year for every machine that you have it installed. This can get very expensive fast, although there are deals with special rates if you are activating the software for a lot of users.

2. User interface and familiarity

This is where closed sourced applications take an advantage. Take Microsoft Office suite for example. Most people used Microsoft Office Suite in their school, since it is the software that came preinstalled on laptops that students used. It is also available for free on school computers. This gives these softwares an edge when it comes to familiarity and user friendliness.

Open source applications can have a confusing layout, especially if you came from the paid, closed source version. Having said that, it is only a matter of time before you get used to their user interface. Still, this is a disadvantage that can be quite a burden for some people.

3. Software support

There is no clear winner here, as both have their own advantages and disadvantages when it comes to software support.

You will enjoy sufficient support if you work with open source applications. Open source assistance is mainly accessible widely on the internet and can be opened by anyone free of charge. As long as you know where to look, you can certainly find documentation and assistance. Information is available on forums and websites instantly, however, it can be hard to understand them on your own.

On the other hand, closed sourced applications can come with dedicated support staff that you can call or email to get a customer service representative to contact you and help you with your problems. This is handy for people who are not that familiar with computers to begin with. Nothing beats the assistance of a real human who can analyze your situation. Having said that, it can take quite some time for a customer support assistance to get back to you with a real person, especially if the lines are busy.

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