Really I don’t know how to define proprietary in the exact words, but simply I would say as “you should buy the license, so you can use it legally”. Windows Vista is my hugest “proprietary thing” in my notebook, but I don’t buy it, it was bundling inside my machine when I bought my Acer TM.
I have some others, software that was purchased along time ago. My antivirus, my multimedia converter, my tweaking secret, and so on. All those software with the operating system itself would be cost millions – in rupiahs obviously – to make it legal inside my notebook.
Well, if proprietary means “protected by trademark or patent or copyright; made or produced or distributed by one having exclusive rights”, and proprietary software means “computer software which is neither free nor open source”. I think yes – there is no proprietary software that fully free – except you have it as a giveaway or gift.
Since every proprietary software has their own life cycle, you must purchase new license to use it when the old one expired, or the old software has no compatibility when you upgrading your operating system so you need to purchase the new version of that software which has the full compatibility and support. Means that you need to prepare a special budget to maintain your works with your computer go smoothly.
Trust me, when we talk about millions of rupiahs to make all things legal when come to computer – its a lot amount of money for student, and middle-low income people. Well, if that think doesn’t make your head spins, you must be a worry free person. But if you chose to use piracy software, ha ha…, you must be a less responsibly person.
Luckily, there are a lot of free software today, and so were open source. Sometimes Windows is enough, then avast free, open office, were quite a cheap solution for office’s works, Gimp and should easily helps you with photo editor. Web browsers are free (mostly) today, Opera, Firefox, Chromium & Safari were the tops on the list (for Internet Explorer 9 – I can’t say anything just yet).
I was & still enthusiast about learning Linux as one of the alternative today. Open source – I think – the best solution for our future IT development. But somehow, I think for now learning Linux – say mastering Linux – were an expensive project just as expensive as maintaining Windows with its proprietary software. Why? Linux learner to be Linux native need what we call education sources which are mostly located in cyber space – means we need an Internet which yet still an expensive service in Indonesia.
Yes I know, a lot of people have saying that Internet connection today a lot cheaper that it was – but the quality far behind the price. As an example, if you wish to get HSDPA access which grants you speed about 7.2 Mbps unlimited, you should sign contract with certain ISP which costly above ten millions rupiahs per month as I ever heard. Well, if you love dial-up which said as “HSDPA”, and cost you only hundreds thousand per month with unlimited access, probably, you never reach the HSDPA itself (only the network is HSDPA but not the speed).
Linux somehow need a good connection (fast & stable enough) to upgrading its components & itself, without it you might crash your system in the way. If this country has a good Internet backbone, I would say full open source for sure, but today, no way, I’ll spin my head with proprietary things for a little longer.