Differences between Free Software and Commercial Software


Differentiate the hardware from software is not difficult. In the first classes of any school where it teaches computing, it quickly learns the difference between the two.

Nevertheless, the concept of software is more complicated to understand, despite being widely used and often illegally. An important point to differentiate are the concepts of Free Software and Commercial Software.

Free and commercial software

Free software

The Free software are those software that are under a free license, whereby the use, modification and distribution are permitted at all. The main free software licenses are GPL and LGPL.

The first, intended for users who may incorporate modifications or free software can add to a job, which should make it available also with the same license. The second It is more permissive, and it can be used even for commercial purposes.

Free and commercial software

Free software does not necessarily mean it is free of charge, this is an important point to consider, many free software can be sold separated or incorporated to another software to selling like consulting or related services, for example.

Examples of Free Software:

  • Linux Operating System
  • Java and PHP languages
  • MySQL Database
  • Open Office Suite

Commercial software

Commercial Software or proprietary software is those software that has an owner of its copyrights, and their use is allowed through a business license and most of the time paid.

Commercial software is no different from any other product commercially, only considering that still paying for software will be receiving only license or right to use and will not be buying the software itself.

Free and commercial software

The most important market Commercial Software companies are Microsoft, Google Adobe, Corel, Autodesk and Apple, among many others.

Examples of Commercial Software:

  • Windows operating system
  • Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, Power Point)
  • Adobe Photoshop, an image processing software very popular
  • Suite development for Dreamweaver, Flash and Fireworks
  • Software for vector graphic design Corel Draw

Which one to use? Free Software or Commercial Software?

Using Free Software and Commercial Software is a decision of each company or person. The price, license, business model, support and functionality are some points that should be considered.

Free and commercial software

Many individuals and companies make joint use of Free Software and Commercial Software. It is a good strategy because this way you can exploit the best of both.

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