Software is what makes equipment like computers and phones work. Therefore, it has a fundamental role in developing technology, programs, and applications. So, this article of TSR will explain one of the most common types of Software, commercial. Likewise, the differences between proprietary and free Software are specified , in addition to the advantages of hiring a company operating system.
Meaning of Commercial Software
An operating system does not have a single classification path. Well, some types of OS have their very marked differences. In that sense, the most popular versions are free Software and Commercial Software. Here, we will see a little of both but focusing more on the one with one owner.
Commercial Software covers all those programs or applications that generate economic income. A person or entity acts as the owner and charges for using its license. So, if the user does not purchase, they will not have permission to use said program.
What is a commercial software license?
Each version of an operating system of proprietary Software or commercial Software has one or more licenses. These are functions that the company puts on the market so that the user can select, although the program is optimized when all available permits are available.
For example, some Software is called mixed. Well, they allow people to use the program freely. However, they restrict the features that are unlocked with the license. In this way, both sides win. The person uses the operating system while the company makes money.
Types of Commercial Software
There are different types of commercial software. Let’s now see the classification of the most common commercial software in the industry:
Its name comes from the English “free software.” It is the most common type of commercial software. It is distributed free of charge software, so anyone can install it on their computers or distribute/copy it to others.
The idea behind the freeware concept is that users can evaluate how the application works and purchase the paid version.
Shareware-type software refers to applications that are distributed free of charge to users but carry with them certain limitations of use, which may be the way it is used or the program’s capabilities.
This type of commercial software tries to get you to evaluate the program so that you buy the full version that includes all the needs and skills you need to work.
This type of software is the one that allows you to install it for free but has a time limit so that you can try it.
After this trial period, the software stops working, and you will have to pay for a license to obtain the full version or stop using it.
The so-called proprietary software cannot be distributed to computers other than those used in the original installation. There is no access to the source code either, and to use it, the user has to acquire a use license that can be for a single computer device or several.
It applies to desktops, laptops, mobile phones, and tablets.
What does commercial software offer?
Commercial Software offers many features to the user. Well, large companies have control of many applications. Therefore, you can fill your hardware with these services and download more. Something impossible to execute in several free systems. Likewise, it offers optimal and quality service. So, by installing one of those systems on your hardware (computer), you can be safe. That is, you should not worry about possible failures or poorly programmed tools.
Features of Commercial Software
Among the main characteristics of proprietary Software are costs. Well, it requires a generally annual payment to use its distribution. Likewise, it should be mentioned that the source code is protected and cannot be edited. Therefore, it is not valid to make substantial changes to the program.
Commercial Software is reliable, and the Windows and iOS examples confirm this. On the other hand, it must be said that these systems have updates, which have advantages and disadvantages. The best example is Windows, which constantly renews its versions. In that case, a customer can purchase version 7, but the company ‘forces’ the user to use the newer ones by ceasing to offer support.
What is the difference between commercial and free Software?
Commercial Software differs from free Software by charging for its use. That is the main contrast and the one that the public knows best. However, other elements must be mentioned, each with advantages and disadvantages. In that sense, one of the significant disparities between these two versions is how both Software are distributed.
In this case, the commercial Software follows the programming of the developers who work for the company. Therefore, it only has the functions and features that the company integrates. In these, it is difficult, if not impossible, for a person to modify the source code. Additionally, sharing Software with others is considered illegal in many parts of the world.
On the contrary, free Software does not have as many restrictions, nor are there strict people. As its name indicates, users can do whatever they want with the program. That includes using the Software without the need to pay for an annual plan. Likewise, entering the source code and seeing its characteristics is possible.
If the person does not like a function or element, they can modify anything. The changes can be drastic or slight. That is, building a new operating system based on something that does not already exist is valid.
Now, another significant difference has to do with quality. The commercial Software offers excellent service, with few errors and integrated help service. This is because, behind it, essential companies like Microsoft, Apple , and others promise an excellent product. At the same time, free Software may have flaws, errors, or bad programming. This is because anyone can edit it, even a novice.
Examples of Commercial Software
Almost all computers in the world run commercial software. It’s just that, in many cases, people have no idea what software they run inside their operating systems or even if the operating system itself is commercial or free.
Since the beginning of personal computing, paid software has been present, and today, although free open-source software has advanced a lot, we are still surrounded by paid software.
Below are 10 examples of commercial software :
- Microsoft Windows
- Microsoft Office
- Adobe Photoshop
- Avast Antivirus
- FIFA Soccer
These are just ten examples to give you an idea of what we mean when discussing software with commercial licenses. These programs and many similar ones can only be installed if they are licensed, that is, if you pay for them.
When you don’t pay for them, you are using free or pirated software, something very common nowadays.
Commercial Software Distribution
There are three main ways to distribute paid software. Let’s see what they are:
Commercial Software on the Internet
- Nowadays, thanks to good Internet speeds that offer connections of up to 300Mbps on average (in some cases even more) at the household level, it is possible to download the software directly from the Internet.
- Thanks to the cloud computing concept, you can download your licensed program from the closest to your geographic location if the app is balanced through a CDN service. Otherwise, you can download it from any available web or FTP server.
- What took 5 hours to download 10 years ago can now be downloaded in just minutes, meaning that software distribution has become tremendously faster and more efficient for users who buy applications over the Internet.
- Proof of this is the almost instant purchases and installations that are made every day on millions of Android and iOS mobile phones with their respective application stores (apps).
Commercial Software on CD or DVD
- CD-ROMs emerged as an alternative method to floppy disks (in English, known as Floppy-Drive) since they could store much more information than the latter.
- Since their implementation in the early 1990s until today, almost three decades later, they are still in force as a way to distribute licensed software. However, today and from 2005 onwards, it has begun to be gradually replaced by DVD, which offers much more space to store programs.
- However, it is a practice that is beginning to disappear thanks to the rise of the Internet and app stores.
- Thirdly, another way to distribute software is through USB flash drives. Believe it or not, software distributors sometimes prefer to send you a USB flash drive with the program you purchased before you download it via the Internet or from a CD-ROM, mainly because the latter tend to get scratched and corrupted often.
- It is a trend that is losing use, just like the CD.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of using commercial Software?
Easy to use
Most commercial programs are elementary to use since, behind them, there is a team of engineers specialized in usability and user experience who think about all the details so that the software you run is, above all, easy and intuitive. And usable.
A famous case is Microsoft with all its products, and even more so, the famous Apple of Steve Jobs, which has always been characterized as a company obsessed with details related to ease of use.
Guarantees and Contracts
Commercial software offers guarantees that often provide greater security than free software.
Through contracts, large companies purchase commercial software under certain terms that guarantee better technical support, uptime, availability of services, and technical support available 24 hours a day.
You will rarely be able to get those things with non-commercial software, and it is a point in favor of the commercial feature of the software.
Companies selling software for money generally offer better technical support than other types of free software with no profit intention.
The reason is simple: if you buy a software license for a particular program and you need help, they will be there for you, they will help you solve the problems, you will feel supported, and at the same time, you will value the cost of the license, that is, it is worth it. Is it worth paying for it? Helping when I have problems.
User interfaces are generally very polished as they go hand in hand with something we mentioned before: ease of use. If the interfaces are not very usable, the work area is not well defined, or each thing you will do takes a long time because of how complicated it is, then there is not a good user interface behind it.
Having a good interface is something that almost always characterizes companies that make money selling software licenses. Again, let’s think about the example of Apple and each piece of software they develop.
Commercial software is usually 100% compatible with most software devices in the world, including system software and commercial programs installed on Android and iOS phones.
If you install an application and it does not have support for your type of hardware, you will be very disappointed, so much so that you will surely ask for your money back. That’s why most software manufacturers are dedicated to making each of their programming pieces 100% compatible with modern hardware.
Commercial software has a reasonably significant disadvantage: it usually takes a long time to fix security flaws.
In theory, this should not be the case since they have work teams, but in terms of security reports, companies behind the most popular commercial programs always take a long time at a general level.
It is not cross-platform.
Generally, when you find excellent commercial software, it has a disadvantage: it is not cross-platform, it will only be available for Windows or Mac, but not for both, much less think that it could be for BSD or Linux.
So, if you are considering migrating your computer’s operating system, first ensure that the programs with paid licenses are 100% compatible with your new work environment.
It cannot be distributed.
It is the primary deficiency of paid software. You cannot distribute it to friends, acquaintances, family, or colleagues. The fact is simple: you pay for a commercial license that allows you to use it on your machine, or at most on two or more computers on your network, but you cannot share that very useful program with the rest of the people.
If others want it, they will have to pay for it.
It does not allow modifications.
Being closed source, most commercial software does not allow modifications (unless you reverse engineer it, which could land you in legal trouble). Only free and commercial software would allow you to modify it, although these are rare cases.
It’s not free.
The word “commercial” indicates that you will have to pay for the software beyond or here. Even in the case of Freeware, it is distributed with commercial intentions, so you evaluate the program and then buy it in its full version. If you are looking for free commercial software, forget it; you will have first to purchase a license.
There are prices of all types and ranges. If you buy a license for genuine Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office, you will have to think about spending several hundred dollars. Currently, the Windows 10 software license costs $139, while MS Office is around $150
Better prices can be obtained when you are a large company and buy many licenses at once or if you are a student.
Commercial Software vs Free Software: Differences
What is the difference between commercial software and free software? You have probably asked yourself this question many times, and today, we will try to clarify it once and for all so that there is no more confusion and you know what types of software you use on your computer.
It is the software that developers or companies charge users who decide to use their applications.
A license is charged for the installation or use of the product, as well as for distributing it or even for its technical support.
It includes restrictions on its use and does not allow modifying its source code. It is a proprietary and closed software.
Evangelized by the Free Software Foundation (FSF), it is the type of software that respects users’ freedoms when purchasing an application.
User freedoms include distribution, use, modification, and execution.
What differences do they have?
The differences, as we can see, are quite evident.
- Free software is generally free and open and provides freedoms that commercial software does not.
- Its development is done based on communities of developers working collaboratively.
- It is generally free software.
- On the other hand, commercial software offers specific applications, good support teams, compatibility, and custom applications if necessary.
- Its disadvantage is that it deprives users of many rights and that licensing costs are often really high
The world is unthinkable without commercial software, a fundamental pillar of world economies. Although free software offers many advantages over commercial software, the latter remains popular on desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and mobile phones.
This type of software also offers many advantages over free software that we must never forget and consider when considering solutions for a company or workgroup.
Although some users prefer to use free software, others prefer to use both since, in many cases, commercial software can provide better solutions than free software.