As a means of clarifying my points it is often easier to characterise complicated concepts and ideas into well known – often physical – subjects. In the this case the idea exemplified by these two organizations is the idea of Open and Closed source.
Open source is described by Eric Steven Raymond as having similar qualities as a Bazaar, in that the ‘market’ is free to anyone to use and is essentially community created and driven.
In contrast Raymond likens closed source to a cathedral, the idea/product its created and owned by a single party and is allowed to be accessed by other parties but not influenced.
Apple and Android are a significant and obvious symbol for these ideas, with apple representing the Cathedral and Android Representing the Bazaar. Apple pumps out specific a limited range of products under the premise of them being unavailable to be altered with, they have total legal control over their products. Contrasty, Android – being an open source system – is created and mediated by users therefore there are not legal restraints on users using and modifying the content.
What does this mean for the future of content?
Both aspects of source have negative and positive aspects, neither is better per say it is a question of preference. Megan DeGruttola’s article on opensource.com discusses the benefits of open source stating that it is often the backbone of significant projects due to four main ideas; Increasing drivers of OSS: quality and security, Corporate contributions on the rise, Impact on everyday technology, Managing the proliferation of open source (DeGruttola, 2014). From this we can understand how open source software can benefit business and developers whilst also allowing for freedom of devices among consumers.
Closed source software benefits both the producers and the consumers but does not allow third party changes. These benefits are mostly restricted to the producers being able to maintain a quality of work associated with their brand. Consumers are also benefited due to the producer being held liable if the product doesn’t work in the way specified, as well as a support system for consumers having difficulties with the product.
In this business can greatly benefit from the use of open source software as well as tech savvy consumers, where as consumers are benefit most from closed source.
Hybrid’s between the two must be considered however as big tech companies such as apple are forced into integrating some form of open software into their system to keep up with demands of consumers. Apple’s app store was forced to allow third party apps to keep up with Androids heavily saturated market place.
This is perhaps an indication that companies may shift towards open source software as consumers become more tech savvy.
Raymond, E. “The cathedral and the bazaar”, 2000, Computers and Mathematics with Applications, vol. 39, no. 3, pp. 263-263.