Open And Closed Source Operating Systems

866 words - 4 pages

Computer systems are split into two parts. There is the hardware part which controls the actual mechanisms and then there is the software part which controls logically how the hardware part acts. As computer hardware advances, so must software to take advantage of better performance and features. Software grew in two directions with the continued growth of computer systems based on two factions. One faction believes that operating systems should be open-sourced and available to everyone while the other faction wanted to keep the software they developed close-sourced and private. This is still a large debate today as there are many programs released open-source and others that are released ...view middle of the document...

It may seem that with the source-code being revealed that the security of the program may decline. With the fixes to bugs and issues by so many users, however, the security of the program actually increases. Additionally, software that is open-source is free to use, but also the fixes provided by other users are also free. This promotes a community solely dedicated to the purpose of improving the software.
The largest community for open-sourced operating systems revolves around the Linux based operating systems. Entirely open-source and community driven, this software is the focus of users and programmers who gather together and help design and fix operating systems to improve the user experience.
Closed-Source Operating Systems
Closed-source operating systems perform much the same as open-source operating systems except that the community that gathers to build and improve each operating system is limited to the company developing the software. Closed-source operating systems do not release the source code of the software to the public. Instead when the software is released, only the binary code is sent. This makes it almost impossible to recreate the source code and keeps the source code private.
These operating systems promote a private in-house community. This can have benefits such as features that may exist only on that operating system or advances in efficiency that place the operating system above competition. However there are also negatives. For instance, without so many eyes reading the code and searching for problems, bugs and issues tend to get fixed slower and security can suffer from that.
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