Is Open Source Software Comparable to Commercial Software?

Obviously the main advantage of open source software is in the cost savings. A report from 2008stated that open source had saved consumers $60 billion per year. That’s great. But is it comparable to commercial software?

Open source can be wonderful for many reasons, mainly because it’s usually free. It’s released along with the source code meaning anyone can make adjustments to it if so desired, thereby making the software better as it continues down the line. Users have a hand in making the software exactly what they want with more customization. However, there is also sometimes a learning curve to figuring out the best way to use it. Even worse, it can lead to users being confused, as too many different versions of the software will exist at one time, and there sometimes is little to no help offered.

Is it better to stick with commercial software where you only have the most current option available and help is always readily available? Or is there really no difference between commercial and open source software?

Is open source software comparable to commercial software?

Image credit: Open source stars

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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