As its name suggests, proprietary software is any piece of software owned and controlled by its proprietor. Compare this to open-source software, which is available for anyone to access or modify and is typically free of copyright.
A popular example of proprietary mobile software would be Apple’s iOS, based on the Mac OS X operating system, which solely runs Apple products such as the iPhone, iPad, and others. While some aspects of iOS are open-source, the mobile operating system is a piece of proprietary technology designed exclusively for its hardware.
Interestingly, the roots of proprietary software are often in open-source software. For instance, Mac OS X is based on Darwin, an open-source Unix operating system.
Google’s Android, based on the Linux kernel, is an example of an open-source operating system. Unlike iOS, Android can be downloaded and modified by anyone who wants to use it.
Why Develop Proprietary Software?
Companies typically develop proprietary software to serve their unique goals, such as supporting their value proposition. For instance, Nobul is the world’s only digital consumer-centric real estate marketplace that helps homebuyers and home sellers find verified and reputable realtors by leveraging sophisticated proprietary AI-driven algorithms to complete its calculations. The platform’s one-of-a-kind value proposition is possible due to its proprietary software.
According to Nobul chairman and CEO Regan McGee, while the status quo can be hesitant to accept technological advancements, innovation eventually prevails.
In his interview with TG Daily, he shared, “There are a number of reasons as to why, but now we are seeing a catalyst in the industry prompted by the pandemic. Agents, buyers, and sellers are all recognizing that technology can prove a tremendous asset.”
The transportation business, Uber, has its own proprietary marketing, routing and payment technologies that allow it to set real-time prices based on supply and demand. Uber’s algorithms also analyze distance, time, traffic, weather, and other factors for its food delivery service.
Like Nobul, Uber was initially met with resistance by industry stalwarts before developing into a success story.
How Can Your Business Benefit from Proprietary Software?
Your business may need to develop proprietary software to satisfy its exact needs. For your unique idea, you’ll need to write software that capitalizes on your concept. Many startups begin with a barebones version of their proprietary software called a minimum viable product (MVP). An MVP has just enough features to earn feedback or a following from early adopters or secure investment from investors such as angel investors.
Some businesses develop property software to generate commercial activity through licensing. While open-source options are generally quite good, they aren’t as sophisticated as licensable property technology.
By licensing proprietary software, your business can cost-effectively access sophisticated and refined technology that’s easy to use, stable, and supported by regular updates and customer service.
Here are some examples of proprietary software you can license to enhance your workflow:
- Microsoft Azure is a cloud computing platform that offers a suite of cloud-based apps, allowing businesses to improve efficiency, security, and lower costs.
- Microsoft Office is productivity software that helps businesses complete office-related tasks such as writing documents, collaborating, and communicating.
- Adobe Creative Cloud is a collection of mobile and desktop applications for videographers, photographers, designers, editors, influencers, and other creative professionals.
- Logic Pro is a digital audio workstation by Apple that recording studios use for sound and music projects.
Other examples of proprietary software include operating systems, communication software, and map apps. But not all proprietary software requires a license. For example, the video conferencing tool Zoom is freeware.
There are many different types of proprietary software. With the right strategy, your business can benefit from developing its own or licensing it.