Do You Prefer Open-Source or Premium Software?


One of your decisions when you’re getting ready to download software is whether or not to use open-source or premium software, whether you want software that is already complete or whether you want to have the option to change and distribute it. It can also be a difference of whether you want to obtain it for free or pay a set price. We asked our writers what they prefer.

Note: Open source software doesn’t have to be free. In this article, we are generalizing open source software as FOSS (Free and Open Source Software)

Our Opinion

Three of our writers – Damien, Mahesh, and Judy – feel the same way. It doesn’t matter what type of software it is – “as long as it gets the job done.” Damien rarely has to pay as a Linux user but would if the premium version was better than a free one. Mahesh and Judy agree, with her saying all that matters is that the software “delivers what I need.

Derrik is also a Linux user and prefers open-source software. Premium and closed software doesn’t appeal to him “as I’m not allowed to modify it,” and he’s not a fan of “big companies and monoculture.” Yet, if a closed source program worked better than an open-source version, he’d use it.


For Christopher, it depends, although he notes that he doesn’t really use premium software that often, so he does have a leaning toward free and open-source. He finds that Open/LibreOffice “are powerful alternatives to Microsoft Office that are completely free.

For me, I’m a dedicated Mac user, and I’ve never come across open-source software for Mac, but I’ve yet gone looking for it, yet I do know it’s out there. Either way, I’m satisfied with the software I can buy as well as free software, so I’ve never had the need to branch out.

Your Opinion

For the most part, our writers don’t stick to any hard and fast rule when it comes to open-source and premium software, and they would switch from their normal if they found something better. What about you? Do you prefer open-source or premium software?

Image credit: Come in we’re open source.

Laura Tucker
Laura Tucker

Laura has spent nearly 20 years writing news, reviews, and op-eds, with more than 10 of those years as an editor as well. She has exclusively used Apple products for the past three decades. In addition to writing and editing at MTE, she also runs the site's sponsored review program.

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