In addition to licenses for proprietary software system, which requires payment for the use of the computer program, there are other types of licensing, where the products can be installed and used for free, permanently or for a period of time.
Open source software is software whose source code is freely and publicly available for public use. In general there is an indication of copyright which remains attached to the software. The developer retains ownership / copyright to the program, but its use may be free, as well as developing and upgraded. Open source does not necessarily mean free, feature of these programs is free access to the source code.
Free software is characterized by ithe freedom of its users to use, copy, distribute, study, change and improve. The user has permission to redistribute copies, modified or not, free or for a fee for selling to anyone, anywhere, without paying for this right without prior notice to this effect.
The freedom to use a program assumes that it can be used by any person or organization, any type of computer system, for any form of activity, without having to notify the developer or any other legal entity.
However, there are certain acceptable rules on distributing free software, such as copyleft (rule that, by redistributing the software, you can not add restrictions to freedoms of other users). This rule is not contrary to fundamental freedoms, but they protect it.
Some of the advantages and disadvantages of one type or another option for programs, taking into account mainly the needs and specificities of the public administration are shown as follows:
– Easier to use for the layman, especially in console format
– Penetration rate is higher among non-experts, so training costs are reduced
– Interface more stable and more developed than the open -source (eg Gnome Desktop)
– Higher number of applications
– Technical assistance provided by a large and known supplier.
For open -source programs – (eg Linux , Open Office ):
– Much lower cost (free or very cheap, even if you consider associated costs )
– Less vulnerable to viruses (virus less than 100 for Linux, compared to 60,000 for Windows-based networks)
– Can easily be improved and adapted
– Low maintenance (update, virus removal , repair bugs )
– More stable applications.
In practice can be found various concepts that characterize a computer program whose meaning is different in terms of the extent of rights of use.
Shareware programs (“trial – ware“) may be obtained free of charge, to try them for a specified period (usually about 30 days for testing). Typically indicates the program documentation as may be paid after the expiry of the trial record, when the use of the program is not legal and if the product is not intended to purchase is required to uninstall it.
Freeware – freeware programs can be downloaded for free from the Internet (it is possible to require registration of copy installed on your computer). This category includes many applications necessary for Internet (eg . Microsoft Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox), utilities, media, etc.
Abandonware – This term indicates that the software can be used freely without any restriction, as manufacturers have abandoned their copyright protected by law. In general, these programs are older versions that have not been updated but are functional.
Updates – This term designates updating the software on the computer (eg . Windows, Microsoft Office, Norton Antivirus, and so on), which is done automatically by connecting to the manufacturer’s website. The activity of updating can be done manually or automatically (depending on your settings and options) and assumes a legal version of the program installed.
Demo – is, as the name suggests, a demonstration version of the performance of a program. It can be downloaded for free and is intended to familiarize the user with the product. However, in general not all options are available for use of the program. T benefit of it, is necessary to purchase the full version.