It is called proprietary software, as well as non-free software, that which belongs to a private company and holds its rights to use, edit or redistribute it. It contrasts with the so-called free software, which is characterized by being open source and being able to be edited by any person or group.
There is a controversy between the benefits of free software versus proprietary software. The first enjoys the possibility of being modified by the community or by the user, while the second offers technical support for the customer. In the first case, its free redistribution is obvious, while in the second, payment can guarantee an evolution and updates for the benefit of the user.
In general, proprietary software development is carried out by corporations with enormous economic resources. This leads to a precise knowledge of the market‘s needs in relation to the systems, a fact that makes their developments more effectively cover the user’s expectations. However, on the other hand, they present an economic cost that few prefer to avoid.
It is noteworthy that this controversy arose from the development of some of the most successful free systems, such as Linux. In fact, those who were involved in its development and subsequent promotion emphasized the advantages of this type of development as opposed to the so-called proprietary software (in allusion to the privations that led to its use). Thus, they set up a company maintained until the moment and which gave rise to a controversial value, as a movement of programmers was conceived who generously polished products at no cost.
However, the only area where the forces have really balanced themselves between proprietary and free software are the operating systems and applications used by so-called smart phones or “smarthphones”. In fact, the use of Android has massed the use of Linux to a point where it seemed impossible on desktop computers. In this sense, it is estimated that the operating system continues to improve and is part of the devices considered top of the line. On the other hand, on the proprietary software side, only Apple’s IOS has an acceptance that compares to Android.
Certainly, in the future, both trends will continue to exist and innovations, perhaps encouraging on both sides, will result in innovations in favor of the user.