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The dangers of proprietary software

Open source is risky? You should try proprietary software....

Matt Asay Contributing Writer
Matt Asay is a veteran technology columnist who has written for CNET, ReadWrite, and other tech media. Asay has also held a variety of executive roles with leading mobile and big data software companies.
Matt Asay

I loved this post over at OpenLogic about the risks of proprietary software. All those risks some persist in seeing in open-source software? They're twice as bad when you can't access the code.

Here are my two favorites that OpenLogic lists:

  • Proprietary software we use could be really buggy and break down, making it impossible for anyone in the company to get any work done.

  • Proprietary software companies that supply our software may be bought by Oracle and then "integrated" or "end of lifed," forcing us to spend a boatload of money and time on upgrades.

Think these are overstated? You must be a proprietary vendor. I talk with enterprise IT people all the time (It's my job) and I hear over and over about how being stuck in proprietary software products invariably causes issues like these and more.

The vendor is not always the fastest road to a fix to one's problems. Having access to the source code really does matter in these situations, and others. A shared source "look but don't touch" is potentially even worse for IP and other reasons.