Information Technology

Gartner Glossary

Proprietary Software

Proprietary software is owned by an organization or an individual, as opposed to “public-domain software,” which is freely distributed. The explosion in the use of the Internet has expanded the reach of public-domain software since it is now much easier to transmit these programs. While many commercial software developers have developed software that has become the de facto standard (e.g., Microsoft’s Windows programs), proprietary software that is based on proprietary protocols, or standards, can create obstacles for application development and usage.

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