An Internet of Everything?/Open Source and Proprietary Technologies

Open Source and Proprietary Technologies




In this chapter of 'An Internet of Everything', core ideas and concepts of open-source and proprietary technologies shall be explored. The historical development of these two software beginning in the 1970s will be examined with reference to their creators, contributors and technological products created. As the developments continue into the 1980s and 1990s the prevalence and importance of 'hackers' becomes more relevant. As do the ethical arguments surrounding the subject. This chapter will also dissect the concepts of copyright and creative commons in terms of the two opposing softwares. In depth analysis of the two different software will then be presented with regards to the pros and cons of their capabilities. Using this grounded research of open source and proprietary software this chapter will conclude in looking at contemporary examples of the two software and the debates surrounding their applications and their performance on working on multiple platforms simultaneously.

History of open & proprietary software


The essence of an author and authorship was introduced by Homer. Originally stories were told and performed by word of mouth, in essence no two stories were the same. They were performed by bards who used bared phrases allowing them to have a foundation of a story but it did not secure that each two stories were the same.

Homer was the first individual to put pen to paper and create a transcript, a prime example being 'The Odyssey.' With this new concept being introduced Homer legitimised a fictional world. As soon as you have an author you start to have a creative industry around the distribution of texts. Authors are important as to why we have mechanisms behind texts and how they work and are distributed. Homer played an important part in copyright laws and royalties.

After Homer introduced the ideal of transcript writing, it became evident that there were limited copies as each one would have to be hand written and would often take months if not longer to produce. Gutenberg then introduced the first printing press in the 1500s, making copying faster and allowing authors to have a greater audience. This is essentially how Shakespeare gained his notoriety due to the mass of transcripts he was able to replicate in quick succession. However, in modern day society we take this ground breaking invention for granted as we are able to make copies of pieces of work without giving it a second thought, nor giving the original owner the royalties or recognition for it.

Due to how quick it became in accessing different transcripts, a register was implemented only allowing certain certified printing presses to only print certain transcripts, they also had a cap on the amount of copies they were allowed to print within a certain time frame. This was introduced in order to allow the author to gain notability and credibility for their masterpieces. Obviously this was used within the 1500s and onwards. In today's modern day we are continuously enforcing copyright legislation in order to support authorship and royalties.

Pre 1980




Unix is said to be the start of a technological advancement in computing. In the early 1970's it was the first operating system written in the C language with Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie believed to be the original creators.[1] It was the first open sourced operating system that was free to be be added to, improved and enhanced by anyone.[2] Unix form the foundations of most operating systems to date, including Linux.





The start of open source and proprietary technologies began before the 1980's but there wasn't much that was easily available before this time because it wasn't until 1980 that useNet arrived. Usenet was the first way to share and collaborate on a worldwide level. With the release of Usenet it was the start of both the sharing of Open source information and file sharing.

GNU Project/Free Software Movement


The next historical moment in Open source and proprietary software was the introduction to the GNU Project by Richard Stallman. GNU is another operating system project to respect users freedom which itself has done by different open sourced programs that are not GNU software to create itself. When GNU was created, the "Free Software Movement" began. The idea of the Free Software Movement is that computer users deserve the freedom to form a community.[3]



In the late 1980's work began on 386BSD. 386BSD is also known as "Jolix", which is another free operating system moving on from Unix. This is another advancement in the historical moments as it then led on to FreeBSD and NetBSD.[4]





This decade has influenced the Open source and proprietary software greatly. Along side the advancements, in 1991 Linus Torvalds made the decision to develop Linux, which advances on the GNU operating system, to provide a completely free and open source operating system. The founder of Linux created his own version of UNIX. He wanted to create his own operating system, however you can imagine how time consuming this would be to write up to ten million lines of code, so he took to the internet and shared his vision and in turn many computer enthusiasts joined in. Fundamentally this was a computing system that was able to be created and used by anyone. It was a challenge to integrate the operating system to different platforms and multi mediums simultaneously. However, once the kernel, the foundations of the operating system was produced, the rest in turn followed.

Red Hat


In 1993 the founding of Red Hat took place. Red Hat is a company based around a Linux distribution, proving that open source software can be highly profitable. They strive to live up to their mottoes:

"Every solution starts with sharing a problem. Technology thrives in the open, where people are free to share their ideas and build on the work of others."

"Creation is always an act of collaboration"[5]

MySQL/Java 1.0


In 1995 both MySQL and the first Java source programing language was released. MySQL is an open-source relational database management system based on the language ISAM.[6] The first public release of java 1.0 was by Sun Microsystems in 1995 also. It wasn't until 2006 with the introduction of OpenJDK until Sun Microsystems made all the java packages Open Sourced programs.

Java 1.0 Promised "Write Once, Run Anywhere [7]



Later on towards the end of the decade we saw further advancement with the release of Apache. The foundations of Apache were made in an attempt to expand on the NCSA HTTPd servers after progress had stalled [8] Apache is a freely available web server that is distributed under a open source license.[9]



In the year 1998, Netscape open sources its web browser. Mozilla is a free software community that was created by Netscape. With it being open sourced it gives the users the ability to use, develop and spread the product.[10] Mozilla also then went on to create Mozilla Firefox which is a well known web browser to this day.



Most concept of LAMP is as follows. LinuxThe operating system which supports the whole process. ApacheApache is the web server, telling you how to interact with the system in order to gain the information which you want. This is similar to a Graphical User Interface (GUI) it also tells servers how to interact with one another. MySQL Is the database. this is where all the information is stored and retrieved in order to present it to the user. PHP In essence the PHP is the overall delivery of the system to the user, such as a monitor, speaker and VDU. It provides the overall experience to the user.

Everything is done through open source software from start to finish of the use of the computer.[11]





Advancements in open sourced and proprietary software kept excelling through the 2000's also. It was in 2001 OpenOffice was first released which then branched off into Apache OpenOffice, LibreOffice and Oracle OpenOffice (Being the only closed source which was discontinued)[12] OpenOffice was a open-sourced office suite program which rivalled Microsoft Office.



It wasn't until 2004 that the very popular Debian-based Linux distribution Ubuntu was released. "Ubuntu is an open source software platform that runs everywhere from the smartphone, the tablet and the PC to the server and the cloud." [13] The Ubuntu logo symbol is to represent "circle of friends' to show collaboration with the open sourced software. This is a very historical moment as there are now over 24 official releases of Ubuntu, with many more unofficial versions.

Important Individuals


It is also important to mention four of the most influential computing geniuses that graced the world with their inventions. Bush, on the eve of the Cold War in 1945, introduced the first computer that used micro film. He believed that everyone should have access to the worlds knowledge, a very utopian approach. Bush did not pursue this field in means of monetary value, but instead he believed that everyone should, if they wish, have accessibility to information. Turing, one of the more notorious for his work on the Enigma, created a machine that was able to compute anything. Allowing information to be inputted and turned into computing code, language in quick succession. During the Second World War, Turing worked on the Government Code and Cyber School. Turing was allocated a team where he took the responsibility for German naval cryptanalysis. Englebert, worked for the darker main defence in the UK. He believed on standing on the shoulders of giants and used previous works created by Bush and Turing, and expanded upon it in order to achieve many a great things. The mother of all demos 1969. Nelson, however was very enigmatic in comparison to the other three individuals. Nelson helped produce hypertext, HTTP and in essence the world wide web, he also produced a program known as Zanadoo, which would probably be more efficient than the world wide web. However, unlike the previous three Nelson wanted to patent the idea and make money through franchises. Unfortunately for Nelson this didn’t work and the idea soon fell short. One key theme which runs throughout this brief history is the links and connections to the military. If it wasn’t for the military and possibly the World Wars we may not be where we are today in the digital world of development. Even IP internet protocol came out of the military, one thing that is certain however is that digital technology is very political.

The Hacker Ethic


The Evolution of the Hacker: - Then and Now


The generic term “Hacker” has different meanings to different generations. Levy (1968) reveals that people within the computer science world used the term “as a form of derision, implying that hackers were either nerdy social outcasts or "unprofessional" programmers who wrote dirty, "nonstandard" computer code”.[14] In comparison to what Levy describes what a hacker is, Douglas (2002) describes hackers “as a culture, a group of computer enthusiasts who operate in a space and manner that can rightly be defined by a sense of boundless curiosity to know how things work but the understanding that such knowledge is further defined by a broader cultural notion”.[15] Again two different generations give two different definitions on what they believe a hacker is. This history of hacking is a complex but also interesting area, considering that in the 21st century, we know hacking to be a crime but it was used to make an advancement in the world we know today. Again Levy (2016) quotes “It was a philosophy of sharing, openness, decentralization, and getting your hands on machines at any cost to improve the machines, and to improve the world”. This philosophy or ethic was gift to their culture; something with value even to those of us with no interest at all in computers. One can see the evolution of hacking if they study the movement of hacking now known as "Anonymous", as this movement began as simple trolling, sharing of unsavoury material and creating strange new internet expressions such as "Memes" on the website 4chan. Hackers came from this background of creating chaos and channelled it into "Hacktivism" which is hacking with the direct purpose of supporting, discrediting or disrupting a cause . This is what created "Anonymous". They are a simple product of hacking evolution and have done work many would view as positive, such as exposing members of the Ku Klux Klan.

Creative vs Criminal


With the early age of the computer there has always been room for improvement with the computer always being upgraded year by year with different hardware and software. Hackers in a sense were always striving for an understanding but were also upgrading the software as they went along. The hacker, as described by Alberts and Oldenziel (2014)[16] was an individual “who deliberately choose an outsider role, complexities are there to be mastered, locks existed to be cracked and exclusion is to be countered with intrusion”. They also go on to explain that, the hackers wanted to leave a finger print of the intrusion but “to do no harm”. The hacker culture is seen differently throughout the world. Many countries use this culture in different forms. For example, Yugoslav teenagers and students “riffled” computers as part of a subculture of partying and music whereas Finnish democracies used is as “rite of passage” for up and coming programmers to show off their work. On the other hand, a German hacker by the name of “Wau Holland” was accused of criminal activities by intentionally hacking into a bank to show its security flaws. The system that they were hacking was a new system that the bank had put in (Btx), an interactive teletext system). The main security flaw was that hackers were able to manipulate and also track passwords. By doing this Holland and his accomplice managed to transfer €135,000 in their account in one night. Four years after their bank hack Wernery, was arrested in France for more computer crimes. In 1986/87, when a bug in VAX computers used by the public authorities like NASA and research companies discovered, that the bug allowed hackers to access these computer. He was then accused of accessing, copying and destroying data from 100 computers. Another example of the criminal side of the hacking world would be the incident that caused the 1990, AT&T's long-distance telephone switching system to crash. Sterling (1994)[17] explains that during this crash 60,000 people lost their telephone services for a nine hour period. It had started because one of the switching-stations in Manhattan had crashed by a bug that was found in AT&T's own system.

The Construction of Computer/Hacking Ethics


When it comes to hacking we know that people do it for different reasons. Good or bad, there is no middle ground to compare against. What Taylor (1999:136) outlines that “when faced with the ethical complexities of hacking, there is the temptation to adopt moral certainties contained within the polarized positions of the, them and us scenario”. With the advancements in technology over the past decade, it has presented the hacking generation with various playgrounds to advance their own knowledge new hardware and software.[18] One of the principle factors that makes hacking possible, is the contemporary culture of secrecy that governs a large portion of social, cultural and economic interaction. The secrecy leaves hackers feeling alienated but also advantaged. As we know hackers oppose secrecy, they contradict themselves, by exploiting the method or the way that they operate, in turn, complicating their status in relation to technology and contemporary culture. Douglas (2002:115) explain that in the early generation of hacking, communities were heavily relied on to share ideas, information but also to access technology. The 1950’s/60’s, communities were based around the labs of MIT, Harvard, Cornell and a few other Universities.[19] Taylor also goes on to say that “hackers are like kids putting a ten-pence piece on the railway line to see if it will bend, not realizing that they risk de-railing the whole train”. A good way to look at the way hackers are represented is to look at “Mr Robot”. This is a programme where a group of hackers are determined to free the world from debt by attacking a multi-national corporation. Taylor (1999) mentions, during a study of business ethics, points had come up to show that within the industry that ethical judgements were harder and tended to come from the older population. Members of the computer industry tend to be older than the normal hackers and view computers as a tool to their everyday life whereas hackers, tend to see computers as a hobby. This age difference is perhaps one reason why there are fundamental differences in the ethical outlook on members of the security industry and the computer underground.

The ‘Unwritten Laws’


Many computer fanatics follow a structure which many call the Hackers’ Bible. This is a set of unwritten rules that they believe is how software should be written and provided. Change something more open and liberal. This essentially relates to the accessibility of software and the availability of it to everyone who wishes to use it. All information should be free. Mistrust authority, promote decentralisation. Number two presents the idea that there should be multiple servers dotted around the world or even in different nations which holds the same information, allowing you to always have access to software and/ or programs if another was to fail. Having more than one server will also allow there to be a greater audience which would have access to programs and its performance will also be of a greater quality. Hackers should be judged by their hacking, not bogus criteria such as degrees, age, race or position. I believe this one in particular relates heavily back to modern day and society where the fight for equality is continuous across all regions of life. Especially in todays digital world there are younger and younger individuals who are capable of producing outstanding coding which can be integrated within an IOS system and be compatible across different multi mediums. You can create art and beauty on a computer. This accounts for all dimensions across the computing world let that be digital art, programming, film making … the list is endless. Needless to say all are elements of art which should not be taken for granted. Computers change life for the better. Technology is continuously developing and improving for the better. We have now been able to create systems for the deaf and blind which helps with interaction and communication as well as many more which helps a countless number of individuals and families.


What Is Creative Commons?


Creative Commons (CC) was founded in 2001 by Lawrence Lessig, Hal Abelson, and Eric Eldred, and are a non-profit organization striving to expand on the creative works available to others, whereby users can build upon legally and share to others. Creative Commons Licenses are released free-of-charge to the public, and the first article concerning Creative Commons to appear in a general interest publication was found in Hal Plopkin's “All Hail Creative Commons Stanford professor and author Lawrence Lessig plans a legal insurrection” (2002). As of November 2004, approximately 880million works are currently licensed under the Creative Commons licenses.[20]

Different aspects to Creative Commons

There are many different types of Creative Commons which enable you to use a piece of work in different ways, depending on the licensing the individual has on said piece of work as each one has rules on what you can and can't do with it. Below are a few listed examples. Essentially the scale offers conditions, you can reuse something in different ways, typically this is outlined in the terms and conditions, also known as the small print.

Public Domain

Public domain is a term used to refer to creative materials that are not protected by property law, copyright, trademark or patent laws. The ‘public’ own these works, not a single individual. Permission is not needed to use public domain materials as no one can ever claim rights to the materials.[21]

There are four common possibilities that could make materials or products public domain:[22]

  • The copyright has expired.
  • The copyright owner has not properly followed he procedure of the copyright renewal rules.
  • The copyright owner purposefully places a material or product in the public domain.
  • The copyright law cannot protect this particular type of material.

The copyright is for the public, allowing them to use the software, piece of work ... etc as they wish. This means they are able to edit it and reuse it as they wish. A key example of this is Walt Disney's creation of Mickey Mouse. The graphics and concept of mickey Mouse is in a public domain, meaning other organisations, such as the BBC, are allowed to use this concept in a sketch if they wish. This means that although we associated Mickey Mouse to be a cartoon child classic, we could see him in a sketch from WW1.


By enables you to remix, edit and distribute a piece of work as you wish. However, you need to take into consideration where the work initially comes from giving the original creator notoriety.


CC BY Attribution lets others distribute, edit, and add to work which has already been created, as long as they credit the original author. In essence this is the most accommodating of licenses, enabling you to tailor the article to your needs.


CC BY-SA This license allows you to do the same as Attribution licensing, however, it is completed for the sole needs of commercial purposes, and they credit and license their new creations under identical terms. Attribution- ShareAlike is often referred to as 'copyleft' free and open software licenses. Wikipedia uses this type of license.


CC BY-ND This license allows for redistribution, commercial and non-commercial, as long as it is passed along unchanged and in whole, with credit to you.


CC BY-NC Similar to Attribution-ShareAlike, this license enables you to add, change and build upon work, however in a non commercial environment. The new creation of work must also acknowledge your changes and the non commercial element but it does not have to be under the same license.


CC BY-NC-SA Like Attribution-NonCommercial the key difference is that you have to license the new piece of work under the same conditions.


CC BY-NC-ND This license is the most restrictive, only allowing others to download your works and share them with others as long as they credit the original author.


Broussard describes Creative Commons as being at the forefront of the copyleft movement, seeking to provide an alternative to the automatic “all rights reserved” copyright (2007). Alternatively, David Berry credits Creative Commons with generating interest in the issue of intellectual property as well as re-thinking the role of the “commons” in the “information age, saying “Creative Commons has provided "institutional, practical and legal support for individuals and groups wishing to experiment and communicate with culture more freely." (Berry, D, 2005). Lestig, on the other hand, describes modern culture as having been dominated by traditional content distributors, in order to maintain or maximise monopolies on cultural products such as music and cinema, saying “Creative Commons can provide alternatives to these restrictions” (Lestig, 2006).

Examples of open source and proprietary software




UNIX was developed in 1969 in Bell Labs, and is one of the earliest operating systems in computing history. It is the foundation which Mac OS X is built upon. It could be run on many different machines, and UNIX computers could work together on networks. UNIX was a proprietary system as Bell Labs had protected the copyright so that it was a closed system which could not be shared. The UNIX code had to be entered manually from a source code book in order to work on a system, which seems to us today highly inefficient.

Richard Stallman was fundamental in the development of open source networks. He wanted to adapt UNIX into a more shareable open system. In 1984 he created the Free Software Foundation (FSF). FSF's main aim was to make software more open and accessible, in the same way that early computing was founded upon sharing intelligence and scientific discovery.[23] Stallman invented GNU (“GNU is not UNIX”) by rebuilding UNIX in a new way to be open and shareable, so users could adapt and change the code as they wished. GNU was able to run on any system which already supported UNIX. Stallman licensed GNU under a new system he introduced called General Public License (GPL, also known as "copyleft") in order to prevent GNU from becoming proprietary software.[24]

The success of LINUX


The Linux operating system is an important example of an open source project that has gone from strength to strength. The possibilities for collaboration offered by the project is itself representative of the power of networks, as even in its infancy when few contributors were participating they could be found all over the globe.[25] The system's success stems from a number of factors, such as the particular approach to property rights that shapes its license. The General Public License (GPL) that Linux has recognises the continued development of the system as building upon it without allowing for any restrictions to be imposed on it as it is redistributed.[26] This is an alternative to the Berkeley software Distribution (BSD) license, which does not provide the same freedom for programmers to improve upon the system.

Another reason for the success of Linux is the continued, unified support for the project thanks to an understanding of the risks involved in rejecting decisions and rules made by the project leaders. To those that fail to have a suggested code alteration be accepted, there is the opportunity to split off from the initial project and set up a new one with their changes implemented, a practice called "forking".[27] While this is seen by some developers as an essential right of open source programming, there is a risk involved in the process. In the case of Linux, prolific forking runs the risk of dividing the workforce and reducing the overall productivity. Furthermore, with more projects there is a greater risk of significant problems occurring in one of the projects, which can reflect badly on every project, from those that emerged through forking to the initial project they stemmed from.[28] This breakdown in efficiency and productivity could lead to the failure of a number, potentially all, of the projects. Linux has not experienced this as its long life span and the likelihood of continued, long-term collaboration discourages forking for the aforementioned risks.[29]

Linux also benefits from one of the essential advantages offered by the open source format. In traditional proprietary arrangements, everyone is expected to contribute roughly equal amounts of work. In open source however, it is common for a small percentage of the contributors to carry out a large portion of work, and for a great number of minor contributors to chip in with only one or two contributions.[30] Yet, Jordan makes the argument that in the context of an open source project, an individual may complete a task that may not have been completed otherwise. If an individual contributor improves the group project even with just one contribution, everyone has benefited from having a better product.[31]

Figures reveal that Linux is the operating system used by 36.2% of all websites on the internet.[32] Linux adopted a decentralized development approach [4] according to Eric. S Raymond's examination in "Cathedral and the Bazaar" and similar work. This approach allowed contributors to operate continuously within a desensitized organizational structure. The operating system features of Linux is also another potential reason worth addressing when trying to dissect its success. There are technical contrasts between Linux and other operating systems like Unix which are important to remember when discussing the success of Linux. According to one specific source,[33] the kernel has the capacity to emulate 387-FPU instructions, and systems without using math coprocessor and has the ability to run multiple programs that require a level of float-point math capability. Linux also supports various file systems for data storage, and like the ext2 file system, which was developed specifically for Linux.

Android and IOS


The Development of Android

Android Logo

Google's mobile phone operating system, Android , made its public début on 5 November 2007.[34] Its world-wide introduction also correlated with the creation and introduction of the Open Handset Alliance; a consortium of companies who would be applying the newly created android software to their products.[35] When the consortium went public, its 34 member list included companies such as; T-Mobile, Samsung electronics, HTC and Sony. In the following years, membership has increased with companies such as Toshiba, Acer and Vodafone joining.[36] This alliance was an important by-product of Google's decision to develop Android as an open-source software.

Rich Miner, Andy Rubin and Nick Sears are generally credited as the inventors of Android.[37] Together they were worked on Android as a smaller company,, before being bought by Google in 2005. After their acquisition an increase in funds available and a plethora of new resources sped up the development process. Two years later the first publicly available android software was created.[38] Google developed the operating system largely as an opposition to the development of Apple's IOS. At Google's 2010 I/O conference keynote speech, Vic Gundotra, at the time, Google’s senior vice president social claimed, "If we did not act, we faced a draconian future where one man, one phone, one carrier was the future. That's a future we don't want." [39]

The Apple iPhone was introduced by Steve Jobs on January 9, 2007,[40] almost a year before the release of android. The reaction to the announcement within Google was one of surprise. One Google employee, Chris DeSalvo commented;

"As a consumer I was blown away. I wanted one immediately. But as a Google engineer, I thought ‘We’re going to have to start over. What we had suddenly looked just so . . . nineties, it’s just one of those things that are obvious when you see it." [41]

As a result of this announcement, modifications were hastily made by android engineers, notably the addition of the 'touchscreen' to their products. Although Apple's announcement came before android, allowing them to momentarily gain in the marketplace, this was seen in a way advantageous, as it allowed engineers to look at what apple had missed out.[42]

Android is based on the open source software Linux, essentially making its source code accessible to all,[43] Android’s Linux operates differently to the Linux we experience in PCs. Like PCs, Android uses an altered version of the Linux kernel version, although not the same one.[44] Linux for android is designed with the smartphone in mind so touch-screen programming is added along with other adjustments to the original kernel. Below is a list of some of the most important components.

  • Alarm driver: provides timers to wake devices up from sleep
  • Ashmem: allows applications to share memory and manages the sharing in kernel levels.
  • Binder driver: facilitates inter-process communication since data can be shared by multiple applications through the use of shared memory. A service registered as an IPC

service do not have to worry about different threads because binder will handle, monitor and manage them. Binder also takes care of synchronization between processes.

  • Power management: built on the top on standard Linux Power Management (PM) and

take a more aggressive policy to manage and save power.[45]

Why Google made android an open source operating system is a topic of debate. Detractors argue that the decision was predominately monetary based. There are multiple profit based advantages to open source technology mostly explained by the mass popularity of the system. This furthers Google’s reach and broadens their consumer demographics. On their website however, Android explains why they use an open source system;

"The primary purposes of Android are to create an open software platform available for carriers, OEMs, and developers to make their innovative ideas a reality and to introduce a successful, real-world product that improves the mobile experience for users. We also wanted to make sure there was no central point of failure, where one industry player could restrict or control the innovations of any other." [46]

The Development of IOS

Steve Jobs presents iPhone

Apple's mobile phone operating system, IOS, formerly known as OS, made its début on January 9, 2007 with the introduction of the iPhone. The first iPhones would go on sale later that summer.[47] Design of IOS is based upon OS X, the operating system for the Apple Macintosh. After a competition set by Steve Jobs between iPod programming and Macintosh programming it was concluded that a Macintosh based system was most appropriate. The Macintosh team was led by [[w:Scott Forstall|Scott Forstall}} whom is credited with the creation and development of the app store.[48]

IOS is a proprietary operating system and thus the source code is not accessible or modifiable. Apple is the only company that has the access and legality to use IOS in its products. Because of this limited access to users in modifying the operating system, the process of jailbreaking has increased in popularity. Like android however, the operating system does contain elements of the opposition software, in this case open source. There have been claims that Steve Jobs was in fact a pioneer of open source.[49] The Mac operating system which IOS is based is itself based upon the open source software of Darwin. Darwin was released by apple in 2003 under a free and open source software license. Furthermore Steve jobs has claimed that android "isn’t really that open" [50] He noted that some mobile device companies such HTC used proprietary software in their interfaces. He expressed dissatisfaction with this as it left the users having to figure it out on their own. This has been highlighted as one of the reasons apple implemented proprietary Software; to improve the device's user friendliness.

Just like with Android however it is argued that the decision was primarily monetarily based. In copyrighting the software they restrict other companies from using it, so users who enjoyed the interface would have to buy Apple products. Apple acknowledged that Proprietary is looked down upon within the online community, especially in the hacker community, so focused the release of IOS on specific innovative features such as the touchscreen and home button. Proprietary detractors argue that open source software is inevitable for Apple.[51] They argue that apple risks alienating developers whom it relies upon for the majority of its popular applications if they continue increasing the proprietary levels with each new version. Microsoft's recent acceptance of Linux has put further pressure on apple as Microsoft have had long fundamental relationship with proprietary software.

An Introduction to the Debate


The debate surrounding the opposing operating systems has both practical and ideological importance. Issues of practicality dominate online forums with frequent comparisons made between the two. User friendliness, privacy, security, customizability and applications are directly affected by the nature of the operating system, whether proprietary or open source. These are seen as more important to the general public but to some, especially a number of those within the hacker community and internet activists,[52] the opposing operating systems represent opposing ideologies. Android is viewed as a 'public good' whereas IOS is representative of 'human self-interest'. Microsoft research sociologist Marc A. Smith explains how there is a need for balance between the two.[53] He describes the concept of a "free rider" who use the public good without contributing to it. This concept would be applicable to the majority of Android users whom don’t access and alter the source code.

As well as opposing ideologies it represents opposing evolutionary interpretations. There is the idea that competition was the sole driving force of evolution.[54] This would explain IOS and proprietary software generally as advantageous to society. This is countered by the claim that co-operation is an important aspect of evolution and is represented in the extended animal kingdom too.[55] Linux has been described as, “creating a sort of rapid Darwinian selection on the mutation introduced by developers."

In many ways the popular debate has taken place without explicit reference to the operating systems. As the two most popular Operating systems they have attracted avid fan bases with their own fan websites and meetups. The Systems have entered into a battle of celebrity with key figures in Google and Apple e.g. Steve Jobs, becoming more famous than the operating system. NYU professor Eric Robles-Anderson among others have described Apple as a 'cult'.[56] This was the basis for the documentary film 'Macheads'. Android and IOS now have large established fan bases who are loyal to their respective operating system and won’t buy products from the other [57]

Benefits & Criticisms of Android


Availability & Compatibility

Android is consistently praised for its large availability to users, a direct consequence of its open source properties. Many companies use android in their products allowing the consumer to choose from a significantly wider selection of phones and tablets compared to IOS operated products. The large number of android ready devices has subsequently allowed android to dominate the market with an over 80% share.[58] Because of the license which it normally operates under (Apache Software License 2.0 (APL2.0), a free software license, manufacturers can alter the source code to their own specifications.[59] In this way android users may be getting a different experience depending upon the manufacturer. This is seen as beneficial as it increases variety and choice but has also faced criticism for the disparity in quality between different android operating devices.


With android, customization is openly encouraged and thus is the de-facto choice of many hackers. This opportunity for customization is extensive with users able to carry out more intricate actions such as contributing to the source code and recognising flaws to more conventional customizations such as installation of apps like Twilight and Airdroid and altering app icons.[60] The source code is available and ready to be manipulated to the users’ wishes. With customization there are two understandings to its positive effect; intrinsic and extrinsic.[61] Intrinsic refers to the user's satisfaction gained from carrying out the customization's themselves whereas extrinsic refers to the users satisfaction from the improvements made as a result of the customizations[62] Just as you are able to design apps and offer these on the Google play store you can also alter the store's source code itself. This openness has resulted in Android app downloads outnumbering IOS although it has also had one major negative effect for Android and the Android app developers; reduced revenue.[63] Google play generates 70% less revenue than Apple’s app store.

User Experience

The exact user experience with android changes depending on the manufacturers' alterations of the original source code, although generalisations can and have been made in the technology community. Android has a reputation for not being as 'clean' as IOS and for being 'chunky'[64] Due to its open source origin, the design is not deemed as refined as its competitor and has faced further criticism for being 'cartoonish'. In a survey comparing Android user experience with other operating systems, it scored lower than IOS (57.25 to 73.25)[65] Another important aspect of user experience is the initial ease of use, especially for a non-technical user. Another survey found that android had the greatest cognitive load, over four times greater than the corresponding IOS.[66] Android is concluded to take longer to be able to be used naturally than IOS.


Research on android ad libraries has found the ability for ads to collect data on user location, contacts, phone number and even have access to the camera and microphone [67] This allows the ads to better target their user based on the collected data. This can become a more serious privacy issue when an ad is also able to identify your name, address and associates. This is an issue for android and IOS platforms. It had been found consumers often acquiesce to default privacy options.[68] This has led to privacy activists campaigning for an 'opt in' feature, as seen in the EU, whereby users are giving a more transparent view of the access an ad would have. Both Android and IOS have to follow these laws although Android has been criticised for its app privacy specification. It allows the user to accept or reject an apps privacy agreement but not makes modifications to this at a later date.[69] In contrast, IOS allows the user to deactivate certain access' an app has after the acceptance of the privacy agreement e.g. deactivate camera access.

Web Browsers

Android allows the user to determine the default web browser of their choosing. This is done through acquisition of a third party app in the Google play store[70] Android does not however have access to the Apple developed browser; Safari. Android has been praised for allowing the user to completely change to the browser of their choosing compared to IOS, which has safari built in and unable to be uninstalled.

Benefits & Criticisms of IOS


Availability & Compatibility

IOS is available and compatible only with Apple products. This feature has been criticized because it means the app store and Google play are not compatible so users do not have the same level of access to apps. Although the android operating system is open source, Google play is not.[71] Only android users have access to it. IOS has a market share of 13.9 %[72] meaning IOS users are in a large minority.


IOS source code is not customisable to the user in any way. This has angered many and led to the now common, and legally ambiguous practice of jailbreaking. This practice involves bypassing Digital Rights Management (DRM) restrictions and modifying the software. this can essentially be thought of as, "the process of installing a modified set of kernel patches (the kernel being the supervisor of the operating system) that allow you to run unsigned code"[73] Apple has sought to limit jailbreaking with improved updates. Apple's support page explains what it sees as the disadvantages of jailbreaking;

  • Security vulnerabilities: Jailbreaking your device eliminates security layers designed to protect your personal information and your iOS device. With this security removed from your iOS device, hackers may steal your personal information, damage your device, attack your network, or introduce malware, spyware or viruses.
  • Instability: Frequent and unexpected crashes of the device, crashes and freezes of built-in apps and third-party apps, and loss of data.
  • Shortened battery life: The hacked software has caused an accelerated battery drain that shortens the operation of an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch on a single battery charge.
  • Unreliable voice and data: Dropped calls, slow or unreliable data connections, and delayed or inaccurate location data.
  • Disruption of services: Services such as Visual Voicemail, Weather, and Stocks have been disrupted or no longer work on the device. Additionally, third-party apps that use the Apple Push Notification Service have had difficulty receiving notifications or received notifications that were intended for a different hacked device. Other push-based services such as iCloud and Exchange have experienced problems synchronizing data with their respective servers.
  • Inability to apply future software updates: Some unauthorized modifications have caused damage to iOS that is not repairable. This can result in the hacked iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch becoming permanently inoperable when a future Apple-supplied iOS update is installed.[74]

User Experience

Apple has been largely praised for the user experience of IOS. It relies on the principles of 'aesthetic integrity' and 'consistency'[75] Apple notes that with the aesthetics it is not so much about beauty but rather, “how well an app’s appearance and behaviour integrates with its function to send a coherent message." The app store in IOS has stricter guidelines than Android's Google play.[76] There is disagreement as to whether this is positive or negative feature. Consistent with IOS's principle of 'consistency', all the apps are reviewed by humans, a feature recently adopted by android too.[77] This has been seen as an acceptance that IOS's stricter guidelines are a positive.

Web Browsers

Multiple open source web browsers such as Google Chrome and Firefox are available for download from the app store with IOS. Safari however, is the built in internet browser, and as such, any links opened will redirect back to safari[78] Safari has been both praised and criticised by users. Apple run its browsers (Safari, Chrome, Firefox etc.) on webkit[79] so speed is consistently high. Safari has also been praised for supporting the ‘do not track' feature.[80] This is important to people concerned with privacy on their smartphone as it largely stops advertisers tracking you online.[81] Because of the proprietary nature of IOS however, they have limited the availability of this function on other web browsers, in an assumed attempt to convince them to use safari. IOS has many other restrictions on third party browsers. As Safari is built into IOS, a system crash would affect most IOS users worldwide across multiple devices. This was the case in January 2016[82] when a bug appeared to crash safari whenever a user searched something in the address bar[83]

Android Platform Security


Early on in development, the core Android development team recognized that a robust security model was required to enable a vigorous ecosystem of applications and devices built on and around the Android platform. As such, they designed Android with multi-layered security, providing the flexibility required for an open platform, and since Android was designed with developers in mind, security controls were designed to reduce the burden on developers. Security-savvy developers can easily work with and rely on flexible security controls, whereas developers and users less familiar with security will be protected by safe defaults.

The Android Security Promise

Android seeks to be the most secure and usable operating system for mobile platforms by re-purposing traditional operating system security controls to:

  • Protect user data
  • Protect system resources (including the network)
  • Provide application isolation

To achieve these objectives, Android provides these key security features:

  • Robust security at the OS level through the Linux kernel
  • Mandatory application sandbox for all applications
  • Secure interprocess communication
  • Application signing
  • Application-defined and user-granted permissions

Android Security Criticisms

Android applications run in a sandbox, an isolated area of the system that does not have access to the rest of the system's resources, unless access permissions are explicitly granted by the user when the application is installed. Although, as observed by Felt & Chin (2012), "the 'Sandboxing' and permissions system lessens the impact of vulnerabilities and bugs in applications, but developer confusion and limited documentation has resulted in applications routinely requesting unnecessary permissions, reducing its effectiveness". On top of this, it has been suggested that Android's fragmentation is a problem for security also, since patches to bugs found in the core operating system often do not reach users of older and lower-price devices (Kingsley-Hughes, 2015). Moreover, University of Cambridge carried out research on vulnerability, whereby they concluded that "the failure of vendors to support older devices with patches and updates leaves more than eighty-seven percent of active devices vulnerable" (Thomas, Beresford & Rice 2014).

Android by Numbers

As of September 3, 2013, Google Play app store reported there have been over one billion Android devices activated. As an approximate count, it is reported that over 400 applications have been installed at least ten million times, and over 800 apps at least five million times. These are the Google Play apps with over one billion downloads on unique devices. As of June 25, 2015, there are 12 applications to make it into this top category; all are owned either by Google or Facebook:

  1. Gmail
  2. Google Maps
  3. YouTube
  4. Facebook
  5. Google Search
  6. Google+
  7. WhatsApp
  8. Google Text-To-Speech
  9. Google Books
  10. Messenger
  11. Google Hangouts
  12. Google Chrome

IOS Platform Security

Every iOS device combines software, hardware, and services designed to work together for maximum security and a transparent user experience. iOS protects not only the device and its data at rest, but the entire ecosystem, including everything users do locally, on networks, and with key Internet services. Many of iOS's security features are enabled by default, so IT departments don’t need to perform extensive configurations. And key security features like device encryption are not configurable, so users can’t disable them by mistake. Other features, such as Touch ID, enhance the user experience by making it simpler and more intuitive to secure the device.

The IOS Security Promise

Apple designed the iOS platform with security at its core. When we set out to create the best possible mobile platform, we drew from decades of experience to build an entirely new architecture. As a result, iOS is a major leap forward in security for mobile devices.

IOS Security seek to provide the following features:

  • System security: The integrated and secure software and hardware that are the platform

for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

  • Encryption and data protection: The architecture and design that protects user data if

the device is lost or stolen, or if an unauthorized person attempts to use or modify it.

  • App security: The systems that enable apps to run securely and without compromising

platform integrity.

  • Network security: Industry-standard networking protocols that provide secure

authentication and encryption of data in transmission.

  • Apple Pay: Apple’s implementation of secure payments.
  • Internet services: Apple’s network-based infrastructure for messaging, syncing,

and backup.

  • Device controls: Methods that prevent unauthorized use of the device and enable

it to be remotely wiped if lost or stolen.

  • Privacy controls: Capabilities of iOS that can be used to control access to Location

Services and user data.

IOS Security Criticisms

Experts and journalist alike have expressed concern regarding Apple's openness when dealing with security threats. In particular they fear that Apple places its clients in danger by not taking action to inform the public of its security vulnerabilities. However, the public's lack of awareness of the security vulnerabilities of Apple products has led to criticism of Apple for misleading the public which has risen over the years (Viega, 2009) This criticism has also drawn attention to Apple's failure to update its products with security updates in a timely fashion. It has been noted by some experts that, overall, Apple products are less likely to be breached by a hacker or infected by a virus/malware, though they emphasize that this is mainly due to the lack of interest by hackers in attacking Apple products, although recent security threats surrounding iCloud and Apple devices suggests otherwise.

Another dilemma appears to be mounting on Apple after leaked National Security Agency documents were uncovered by both The Guardian and The Washington Post in June 2013. The documents were said to show Apple as being on a list of American companies that allegedly cooperate with PRISM, which authorizes the government to secretly access data of non-American citizens hosted by American companies without a warrant. Government officials acknowledged the existence of the program, said to show "the NSA has direct access to servers of those companies, and the amount of data collected through the program had been growing fast in years prior to the leak" (Savage, 2013). Apple has denied having any knowledge of the program.

Apple still maintain the stance that iOS is secure. However, following a series of recent scandals involving iOS security highlighting many of the problems some people have experienced, many users would suggest otherwise. The latest security exploits which were identified around 20 September 2015 some developers – located in China – have used the wrong program to create apps for the iOS app store.[84] It is believed that the developers downloaded a fake version of Xcode because it was taking too much time to download from Apple’s own servers, which are hosted in the US. Xcode weighs in at around 3.9GB in total. The Chinese developers were using XcodeGhost rather than Apple’s own Xcode. While the affected apps are Chinese, there are a few popular apps among them such as Angry Birds 2, although Rovio has confirmed that only the Chinese App store version of Angry Birds 2 is vulnerable, and that a fix is coming soon, according to 9to5Mac. But aside from the latest security exploits, 2014 stood out as the year where security vulnerabilities in IOS where at an all time high. A series of security flaws were identified in February 2014 that made it possible for an attacker to intercept a user's data if the user is using an unprotected hotspot, perhaps in an internet café.

IOS By Numbers'

iOS is the second most popular mobile operating system in the world, after Android. Sales of iPads in recent years are also behind Android, while, by web use (a proxy for all use), iPads (using iOS) are still most popular. By the middle of 2012, there were 410 million devices activated. At WWDC 2014, Tim Cook said 800 million devices had been sold by June 2014. During Apple's quarterly earnings call in January 27, 2015, Apple announced that they have now sold one billion iOS devices since 2007(a little less than Android sold in 2014 only). On January 16, 2009, Apple announced on its website that 500 million applications had been downloaded. The billionth application was downloaded on April 23, 2009. On March 3, 2012, the number of apps downloaded reached 25 billion. On June 8, 2015, Apple announced that the App Store had crossed 100 billion downloads.

These are the top ten most downloaded iPhone and iPad apps of December 2014: (Paid For / Free)

  1. Clash of Clans / Angry Birds 2
  2. Minecraft / Snapchat
  3. Afterlight / YouTube
  4. Plague Inc / Facebook
  5. Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock / Instagram
  6. Facetune / Pandora Radio
  7. Cut The Rope 2 / Google Maps
  8. Bloons TD 5 / Flipagram
  9. A Dark Room / Spotify
  10. 7 Min Workout Challenge / 2048

Web Browsers




Web Browsers are applications that were once simply used to allow users to access and traverse the internet, but as the technology has become more refined we find more and more uses for the browser opening up. In recent years, simple features like user interface and extensions have become part of the decision process among consumers when deciding which web browser they choose to use.

The first web browser created was simply named WorldWideWeb (the name later changed to Nexus) and was created in 1990 by Sir Tim Berners-Lee. As time passed and the technology improved however, the number of easily accessible browsers increased, with Erwise being released shortly after in 1992 and being the first commonly accessible browser available with a graphical user interface. However, it was not until Mosaic released in 1993 that the public was presented with an easy to traverse layout, with a focus on a more streamlined user interface accessible by all who used it. Many features implemented in Mosaic still exist in current popular browsers, such as a URL bar at the top and back/forwards buttons.

As of now, there are five browsers that dominate the market; Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari and Opera. Within these five browsers, most of them are somewhat open-source, with certain aspects of the source code being accessible by all. The only exception to this comes in the form of Internet Explorer, which since its release in 1995 has been solely proprietary in nature.

The Dominance and Decline of Internet Explorer


Internet Explorer first debuted in 1995, developed by Microsoft as part of a Windows 95 add-on package and on launch was wildly successful. In the early 2000’s, Internet explorer accounted for the majority of the market, peaking at 95% in 2003.[85] However, with a rise in other more popular web browsers, Internet Explorers dominance over the market now almost appears laughable, with the browser being the punchline of many internet jokes. While it remains within the top five most used browsers, its popularity and reputation are still damaged and the still steadily declining usage figures reflects that.[86]

There are many points in Internet Explorer’s history that people have suggested as reasons for its decline in popularity, some of which reflect on the fact that IE is entirely proprietary by nature. Firstly, the release of Internet Explorers sixth major revision, IE6 in 2001 is considered to be one of these moments. With large scale problems of malware and other such security breaches, experts began recommending that users of Internet Explorer should switch to other more reliable browsers.[87] A common complaint with Internet Explorer in general is the time taken between discovering a problem like this and releasing a patch to fix the issue, something that is often attributed to its proprietary nature. Having a dedicated team to solve such issues means that it’s easier to get support when a known problem occurred, but in terms of finding a solution to matters of security, open source material often have communities invested in finding a speedy solution and therefore can create and publish a solution faster than an individual team.

Another interesting consideration when talking about the downfall of Internet Explorer is in relation to hardware IE is available for. Internet Explorer is often packaged in with Microsoft products, most notably being Windows Operating Systems and the Xbox 360. However when Internet Explorer was the dominant web browser, it was accessible on a larger number of devices, most notably Macintosh Computers. Despite being popular among Macintosh users, Microsoft announced they planned to discontinue development for Internet explorer on Macintosh computers in 2005.[88] Given that IE is a proprietary browser, this makes a lot of sense from a development perspective, allowing a greater focus on development for Windows operating systems. However, total discontinuation creates a large portion of the market that are totally inaccessible, an issue that would not exist if the software was open source. With access to the code, Macintosh users would be able to update the software themselves and would be able to figure out methods to update the browsers to run on their chosen computers. In this particular example, it would seem that having an open source browser is more beneficial in accessing a larger audience.

The Dominance and Decline of Firefox


Mozilla released a competitor to Internet Explorer in late 2004 in the form of Mozilla Firefox, an entirely open source web browser that was met with great praise for its speed, security and new features such as browser extensions, also referred to as add-ons. Furthermore, being open source in nature users of Firefox were given more freedom with how they interacted with the internet in general, best surmised by The Mozilla Manifesto’s second claim “The Internet is a global public resource that must remain open and accessible.”[89]

As an open source browser, Firefox benefits from third-party development, most notably through add-ons which allows users to manipulate the way in which the browser functions. With the code for Firefox being available to all, consumers were invited to create extensions to add features to their browsing experience at whim, like removing unwanted adverts using extensions like Adblock.On a more cosmetic level, Firefox also supported custom user themes, allowing users to change the appearance and colour scheme of the browser, creating a more tailored browsing experience. Coupled with the fact that open sourced programs being more secure as solutions to security problems are quickly found, Firefox proved to be an instant hit, especially compared to its primary competitor of the time, Internet Explorer 6.

However, one major issue with Firefox as a service is its reliability in terms of updates and the content within these. With a lot of Firefox’s updates being minor in nature and community driven, there are rarely any new, large scale features to interest consumers. This results in a dedicated community of Firefox users, but fewer new users. While the stability of Firefox remains consistently good, the lack of impactful improvements outside of minor community driven bug fixes results in its usage figures stagnating to some degree.[90]

The Rise of Google Chrome


In 2008, Google entered into the browser wars with their own web browser, Google Chrome. Since it was released, Chrome has only increased in popularity, currently dominating the market with 47.77% total usage as of February 2016. Google Chrome is freeware, meaning that it has certain elements that are proprietary by nature, but the majority of its code is open source. Its popularity is attributed to many features, its accessible, minimalist interface and speed being but a couple.

Being open source has benefited Chrome in similar ways to Firefox, with features like frequent updates, themes and browser extensions all being available to Chrome users. While the open source nature of Firefox gave it an initial boost in popularity, similar features coupled with association to the well-known IT Company Google helped give Chrome the boost on release it needed to assert its dominance. With Chromium allowing easy access to Chrome’s source code, some of the development work for Linux and Mac OS X ports for Chrome was simplified by outsourcing to those willing.[91] This in turn allowed Google to focus on improving features like user interface and advertising the browser better, taking advantage of the fact that the search engine Google was a commonly used service to publicise their browser. With the open sourcing of their code allowing for frequent updates coupled with reliable and fast service, it seems obvious why Google Chrome continues to push ahead in terms of popularity.

What is Open Source Software?


Open Source Software (OSS) are programmes Like GNU and Linux that allow programmers to modify the source code to edit and improve certain software’s. Muir in his book Open Source Software defines OSS as “access to the actual source code, often available under GNU Public License, which allows programmers to alter the software and redistribute it, with the requirement that they make these changes available to other developers.” [92] It can also be known as free software however I will stay away from that phrase as it refers to free as in the idea ‘free stuff’ rather than ‘free speech’.

History of OSS


It is believed that UNIVAC (an Acronym for ‘Universal Automatic Computer’) created the first open source software, the ‘A-2 system’. It was developed in 1953 and then distributed by the end of that year.[93] The product also included the source code which was provided to users so that they could (if they wished) send improved versions of the product back to UNIVAC [94] It was safe to say in the era before 1960s that most programmes were free. However they were not free because software developers liked the idea of consumers helping to fix bugs and send improvements of the product back to get a better finished article (even though the A-2 system by Univac was driven by that) but because at the time technology was scary and very daunting. This was partly because of Science Fiction movie productions being seen as horrors at the time. People had a great fear that if companies weren’t transparent with their work that people would leave backdoors making it easier to hack.

As time went by technology was starting to get a lot more advanced, this led to an increase of competitors and an increase in the price. However the increase in competitors meant the introduction of dirty tactics. This market was once an oligopoly and companies like IBM would have liked it to stay that way. In 1969, the big player of the computer market had a lawsuit filed against them for anticompetitive pricing.[95]

Advantages of OSS


Over time OSS has become more popular than Proprietary software. This is mainly down to the fact that is free, whereas people have to pay for proprietary software. However it does come with several disadvantages considering it is made by a non-profit community.[96] There are many advantages that using OSS has over Proprietary software. The main advantage for business is that open source is a good way for business to achieve greater success at penetrating the market. When a company plans to use OSS they can establish the product which is reliable and to high quality as well as to an industry standard meaning they can have an edge over rival companies. It is deemed more reliable because it can have lots of independent programmers collaborating on it (like Linux) to find bugs and problems with it before general release. Reynolds,[97] Another advantage of OSS and one of the reasons it is used by many new technology firms is because it is inexpensive and easy to use. Unlike proprietary software where expensive research and development must take place.

Using OSS allows a company to be more flexible with the technology they use. This then allows a business to react faster to the market and have quicker innovation which is vital in a constantly progressing technological world. OSS allows a business to have a chance against bigger companies like Apple and Microsoft due to using the OSS strategy because it is inexpensive.[98] One more advantage of OSS is that developers of the software will feel empowered as if it is their own software meaning they will create a better well round finished product as a worker will feel more motivated to work on their own creation. This goes on to create loyalty to the product and the company due to this sense of ownership. Users of OSS don’t have to wait for the next patch to fix irritating bugs, if they are competent and computer literate.

Overall, using OSS helps define your brand and what it stands for. OSS is seen as a positive image for brands as it stands up against the ideas of Vendor Lock-In (also known as proprietary lock-in) or charging for patches. Companies that use OSS usually believe in the business term ‘Kaizen’ (constantly improving) meaning they always want to deliver a better product to its valued customer. It represents the idea that technology should free. We shouldn't have to pay premium prices all the time.

Criticisms of OSS


Like most things with many great advantages there has to be some disadvantages and OSS is no different. There is a lack of commercial pressure for developers to listen to the customers wants. This means they will develop software which is tailored to their needs rather than the customers. The quality of the product can also be affected by the types of programmers working on it. This is because the success of OSS relies heavily on team work. Some programmers working on the software may have different goals, ideas about the software that may conflict each other. This has happened on several OSS projects like Eazel and SourceXchange.[99] One of the main reasons big companies don’t use open source software is the security risk. Showing the source code will show security weaknesses which can make it easier to find loopholes. This isn’t as much as a factor in large scale OSS projects but single man projects can have major security risks.

The use of open source leads to clones of similar things. A good example of this is mobile game Flappy Bird. When that became a success we saw many similar copies on android. Whereas closed source software have more control on what is put on to their software [100] This leads to many OSS projects being cloned meaning the consumer is overloaded with under quality software and miss out on the good ones.

OSS continues to evolve in real time as developers add to it and modify it, which means that it can be of better quality. A commonly held misconception associated with OSS is that it's more secure and less prone to viruses than proprietary systems because it has a vast number of users who are there to solve problems whenever they may arise. Though this may be the case, it doesn't make necessarily make it inherently safer. People look at the code, which allows security vulnerabilities to be easily spotted.[101] An investigation into OSS safety concluded that OSS makes code visible, however, source visibility does little to increase the overall security risks posed to a given project, in the vast majority of cases. Security analysts report that, in most situations, source visibility can even assist in the concurrence of project stability and secure states.

Software Everything comes from a single operating system UNIX, essentially it lays down the foundations for IOS systems on the mac including IOS10. It is essentially a pre made operating system instead of having to write out the code. Even though it forms the foundations of almost every operating system it is very ‘closed down.’ But this contradicts the theory that everyone wants everything to be open and share allowing you to edit and tailor the software to your needs.

The simple fact is that not everyone wants to be able to edit and manipulate software catering it to their needs. It maybe too complicated for them or they may just not be interested. Some individuals only want to use a computer for a simple task and do not want to deal with the hassle of logging on and using a CLU. In this case a GUI, Graphical User Interface would more than suffice. It is quick, easy and simple to use. You need to consider what the user wants. Do they want endless amount of coding or do they want mechanics, however is it then open or commercialised?

Proprietary software




Proprietary software is software that belongs entirely to the creator or creators of it by law. Typically, proprietary software has very strict restrictions on the ability to view its source code and the alteration of it. Due to this restriction, the ability to alter or modify the program to the user's need is completely forbidden. This type of software (although sometimes free) is most commonly only available for a fee and only licensed key holders can use the software for its purpose.

Proprietary software is used through the way of licenses and license agreements. Douglas E Phillips outlines in his book "Software License Unveiled : How Legislation by License Controls Software Access",[102] specific guidelines that all user license agreements follow.

These include:- "You may have thought you just bought something, but you didn’t. The software is licensed, not sold."

"You are now a party to a contract with a software company. The license is a legally binding agreement between you and the software provider."

"If it doesn’t say you can do it, you can’t. The software provider grants you permission to use the software, but you may not do anything that the license does not expressly permit. Of course, you must also refrain from doing anything it expressly prohibits. For example, you may not let more than one person use the software at a time; resell or reverse engineer it; or, if the software is designated for a particular type of end user, use it without being that type of end user."

"If you do something it doesn’t say you can do (or says you can’t do), then you can’t use the software at all. Your permission to use the software is conditioned on your compliance with all the terms of the license agreement, including all the terms that restrict your use. As a result, your violation of any term causes you to forfeit all your license rights and makes you not just a contract breaker but a copyright infringer."

"If the software company wants to do something, it can. You grant the software provider unconditional permission to include product activation, product validation, and automatic update functions in the software. These functions can affect your access to the software, and potentially to your computer, and can transmit information about the software and your computer to the software provider."

"If something goes wrong with the software, don’t count on the software company to fix it. You agree that the software provider makes few or no warranties to you and will have little or no liability to you for software defects. You also agree that the software provider will not be responsible even for claims against you that may result if the software infringes thirdparty rights." (Phillips, 2009)

The free software movement was launched in 1983. Following its launch, a group of individuals advocated that the term "free software" should be replaced by open source software (OSS) as an expression which is more convenient in regards to the corporate world.[103] Software developers may want to publish their software within an open source license framework so that anybody may also develop the same software or perhaps get acquire a better understanding it's internal functioning. With open source software, anyone is able to create modifications of it, port it to new operation systems and processor architectures which allow it to be shared with others or in some cases marketed.



One of the most prolific users of propriety software is the Microsoft Corporation. Every piece of software from their operating systems like Windows XP and Windows 8, to their global dominating Microsoft Office programs, uses the propriety system of security. Further examples of proprietary programs include; Adobe Flash Player, ITunes and Mac OS X.



Proprietary software has both advantages and disadvantages to its use. The benefits of using a proprietary software system rather than an open source software system is that there is much more dedicated support for any problems that you may encounter whilst using the product. Since proprietary software is made by a company or organisation and sold as a product, it is in the companies best interest to ensure that there is constant support readily available to their customers if anything were to go wrong or if they need help with installing/ setting up the system. This differs from open source software, where there is more of a community support system in place where you may have to search through many different solutions until you find the right one. Proprietary software is generally made to fit the needs of the business world and to fill a market need. Due to this, proprietary software often contains more features compared to open source software for example, all Microsoft Office applications including Word and Excel can be linked together to work simultaneously on the same task.



One of the main criticisms with proprietary is that the majority of this type of software is only available through purchase. The price ranges on these software types can range from cheap to very expensive for example, Windows 10 can be as cheap as £29.99 ranging to other programs like Adobe Photoshop which can be bought for £2000. This range in prices can be very off-putting for the casual user as paying thousands of pounds for a computer program seems very unreasonable. A further criticism of proprietary software is the inability to view its source code and change the coding of the program. The needs and requirements present in the business world are constantly changing. With that constantly changing environment, proprietary software often can fall behind in keeping up to date with the needs of their customers. This opens the market to open source software as the users have the ability to change the functionality of the software to fit their purposes if they want to. This lack of customisation and self improvement in proprietary software if why a lot of people prefer to use open source systems.

Open Software vs. Proprietary Software


Open software is in essence software that is free and accessible to all, allowing them to alter the programme to cater their needs. This follows one of the many key themes and concepts which are believed by many computing fanatics. However, there is a very big security risk and many licensing laws have to be taken into consideration when using open software. On the other hand there is Proprietary Software which is financed and you have to pay for it. A key example of this is windows XP. Often proprietary software asks hackers to exploit any flaws or bugs which they may have in their systems but often do not do anything to resolve this issue when they have been identified, as it keeps other parties interested. Open software is very beneficial as it allows multiple people to essentially work on the same thing at once, like this project. It's very useful, allowing individuals to go over everyone else's work meaning more problems will be identified and resolved. very beneficial to use, open software allows you to have multiple users at once, however it is important not to abuse it. There is no bug free software, it's continuously growing and improving for the better. Proprietary Software offers more of a GUI and interaction as opposed to a CLI, which is commonly associated with Open Software. A GUI (Graphical user interface) is essentially a series of images, a menu, which is quick and simple to navigate around and use. This is very beneficial to users who are not as computer literate and only want to use the technology quickly.

The Future of Open Source and Proprietary Software


Open source allows modification and redistribution of pre-existing designs and blueprints to be made freely available universally. The future for open source in terms of programming is undeniably going to continue to be used by many different programmers and businesses. In a survey done by ZDNet, 78% of companies have adapted to the use of open source software in their practices. This is a monumental step as back in 2010, in response to the “Future of Open Source” survey, only 42% of the companies said they used OSS. 93% have said that the use of open source has either grown or remained constant within the last year. At present, 64% of corporations take part in open source projects – an increase of 14% compared to 2014. The projection for the near future of involvement of companies in open source projects, is expected to rise to 88%.[104]

As a programmer the future of open source software is part of their daily life already. As a modern day programmer most of your current projects have already been completed by other programmers putting their freely available code on websites such as Github. This allows users to download and share these open source projects.[105] Programmers nowadays don’t want to re-write code that has already been done. In the foreseeable future, programmers will simply be taking snippets of open source code and combining that project with many others to create a final project. This allows programmers at different skill levels to understand and implement these open source projects, also saving programmers time and money to complete a project.

The future of open source software will have a dramatic impact on the progression of technology in our society. An example of this could be Oculus Rift, the virtual reality headset. This headsets entire source code was released to the public in September 2014.[106] From this headset being completely open source, the progression of this product has been tremendous. Upon releasing Oculus Rifts’ source code in 2014, this has aided in understanding and creating new virtual reality headsets such as the Samsung gear virtual reality headset.[107]

Bill Gates refers to children born after 1994 as the first generation to grow up with the internet. With 90% of children aged 10–12 playing online games.[108] As this quite a significant percentage of children having technology as an integrated part of their lives, programming is now being taught in many schools. Programming clubs have now been established for children to develop their programming skills.[109] This indicates that the use of open source will continue to grow as technology use will continue grow throughout the years. With children of all ages using open source software to complete projects for their own enjoyment. With children learning how to program in school now, online interactive programming classes are continuing to grow.[110] With the internet available to most persons, these interactive programming classes use will continue to grow. Implying that the use of open source will continue to grow as more people are learning programming.

Open source allows freedom among consumers and business’,[111] some proprietary software claims to be flexible but flexibility implies creativity and through the use of open source software users can create their own software for their own needs with no bounds. Open source software allows users to be in control and make their own decisions and do what they want.[112] Individuals nowadays know what they want and how they want to be done, and with technology being such an integrated part of our lives now the use of open source software will continue to grow.

Humans are individuals which like to make their own decisions and act freely, and open source supports this idea fully. Open source's future is looking very positive; currently it is already an integrated part of the technological lifestyle. Generally, every software being produced nowadays features open source software use in the development. Technological advances throughout the years have been impacted greatly by the use of open source software, as there is a massive pool of developers at each programmer’s disposal. Also children born after 1994 have technology in their everyday lives now, are being taught programming from an early age, and individuals are also partaking in interactive programming classes online. With the continued progression and use of technology it is inevitable that open source will continue to be used greatly within software development as it has many benefits. Open source will continue to be used in the future, but open source is already an integrated part of technological development. The future is here.



All terms have been taken from the above chapter in The Internet of Everything. All definitions have been taken from wikipedia and the Oxford Dictionary.

4Chan 4chan is an English-language image board website. Users generally post anonymously, with the most recent posts appearing above the rest. 4chan is split into various boards with their own specific content and guidelines. Registration is not required, nor is it possible (except for staff).

Android The name of an operating system, mainly used on devices which are not mac.

Anonymous Anonymous is a loosely associated international network of activist and hacktivist entities. A website nominally associated with the group describes it as "an Internet gathering" with "a very loose and decentralized command structure that operates on ideas rather than directives"

Authorship The profession of writing, the source (as the author) of a piece of writing, music, or art.

Creative Commons Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools.

Cognitive Load Volume of mental effort being used in the working memory.

Customisability The act of allowing you to customise and edit something to your needs.

Darwin Open-source Unix operating system developed by Apple and released in 2000.

Decentralisation The process of redistributing or dispersing functions, powers, people or things away from a central location or authority.

Digital rights management (DRM) Various access control technologies that are used to restrict usage of proprietary hardware and copyrighted works.

Domain an area of territory owned or controlled by a particular ruler or government

Gutenberg The creator of the printing press.

Hacker A person who uses computers to gain unauthorized access to data.

Hactivism Hacktivism is the act of hacking, or breaking into a computer system, for a politically or socially motivated purpose. The individual who performs an act of hacktivism is said to be a hacktivist.

Hardware Objects that are tangible, that you can physically touch and move. Computer hardware consists of speakers, keyboard etc.

LAMP An abréviation which covers the operating system of a computer. Linux, Apache, MYSQL, PHP.

Linux A piece of software which is open sourced and enables you to complete and write your own operating system. The operating system uses the foundations of UNIX.

Memes A technology that in its most general form can be defined as miniaturized mechanical and electro-mechanical elements (i.e., devices and structures) that are made using the techniques of micro fabrication.

Microsoft Office Microsoft Office System is a collection of computer programs made by Microsoft. The programs are created for all users. There are different versions of the software for home users and for business users.

NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

OEM's Manufacturers who resell another company's product under their own name and branding.

Open Office An open source office productivity suite. The software is compatible with all major operating systems including Microsoft Windows, Apple MacOS, and Linux.

Open Source Denoting software for which the original source code is made freely available and may be redistributed and modified.

Polarised Restrict the vibrations of (a transverse wave, especially light) wholly or partially to one direction.

Privacy a state in which one is not observed or disturbed by other people.

Proprietary Software that is owned by an individual or a company (usually the one that developed it). There are almost always major restrictions on its use, and its source code is almost always kept secret.

Servers A computer or computer program which manages access to a centralized resource or service in a network.

Software The programs and other operating information used by a computer.

Systems A set of things working together as parts of a mechanism or an interconnecting network; a complex whole.

Teletext A news and information service in the form of text and graphics, transmitted using the spare capacity of existing television channels to televisions with appropriate receivers.


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