Year 10 Computer Science – Ethical, legal, cultural and environmental concerns : Open Source and Proprietary Software #2

Starter : Retrieval Practice

Explain the purpose of the operating system

The operating system is the software that manages a computer’s hardware and provides a user interface.

Explain the purpose of utility software

Utility software is the software designed to help maintain a computer system

What are the two types of operating system user interface

The two types of operating system user interface a Graphical User Interface and a Command Line Interface

Explain how device drivers are used in a computer system

Device drivers act as a translator for the signals between the operating system and the hardware. They allow the operating system to ‘talk to’ and manage the hardware.

Today’s learning: Proprietary Software

Covered in Paper 1 of the computer science paper is the topic which covers ethical, legal, cultural and environmental concerns associated with computing. Within this is the need to understand the role and advantages and disadvantages of open source and proprietary software. In essence, it is important for a business to consider when to choose open source and when to choose proprietary software. Here is great video to give us an introduction to the topic.

In today’s blog we will be looking specifically at proprietary software …..

Proprietary Software

We know that software is made up of code. With proprietary software only the compiled code is released (the compiled code is the program itself which is an executable file). The ‘source code’ is not released and is usually a closely guarded secret. Another term for proprietary software is ‘closed source software’.

Proprietary software licences restrict the modification, copying and redistribution of the software . It is probable that the company that has produced the software has invested a lot of money in developing and testing the product and therefore will want to sell the product.

Most, if not all, of the software you use in school will be proprietary software. There are many well known examples such as Microsoft (Office, Windows, Outlook, One Drive) and Adobe (Photoshop, Illustrator, etc). Many businesses prefer to use proprietary software as it tends to have better customer support options such as helpdesks and regular updates.

There are advantages and disadvantages of open source software that you need to be aware of :

Questions based on today’s learning … have a go before you hit the drop down box for the answer!

Proprietary software means.

The source code is not released. Only the complied code is made available.

Proprietary software is also known as

Closed sourced software

Give two advantages of proprietary software.

Any two from:

Proprietary software comes with warranties , user documentation and customer support.

It’s made for the ‘greater good’, not profit. People share ideas and collaborate.

Reliability – it has been tested more.

Regular updates keeps the software more secure.

A cheaper alternative to custom made software.

Give two disadvantages of proprietary software.

Any two from:

Expensive compared to open source software.

Might not exactly fit a businesses needs as produced for the mass market.

Support is often withdrawn for older versions so a company may have to keep paying to update version of the software.

Want to know more proprietary software:

Test yourself !