Favorite Free/Open Source Programs For Business

You Are FreeI’ve been around computers forever, and I’m always pleased to find something that can replace a proprietary program with an open source one. You may be surprised to learn (I was) that even WordPress is an Open Source program, even if they have commercial area. They also have a WordPress.org area where you can download the Open Source version. Wikipedia defines Open Source Software (OSS) as follows:

OSS can be defined as computer software for which the human-readable source code is made available under a copyright license (or arrangement such as the public domain) that meets the Open Source Definition. This permits users to use, change, and improve the software, and to redistribute it in modified or unmodified form. It is often developed in a public, collaborative manner. Open source software is the most prominent example of open source development and often compared to user generated content.

Most of the time Open Source software is free, unless someone takes a version and makes it into a commercial product. But, the original Open Source Software would still be free to distribute.

So, here are some of my favorites…

OpenOffice

This program has a suite of products like Microsoft Office from spreadsheets to word processors. As a writer, I love OpenOffice because it can allow me to save in various different formats (even MS Word) and appears to be a lighter install than MS Office. I don’t have to pay to upgrade the product every time a new version comes out. When my pc crashes, I can re-install without going through all sorts of security hassles and proof of purchase stuff. And, so far, I don’t notice much difference between the features I use than MS Word.

Firefox

This is a great browser (I’m using it right now). It is based on Open Source philosophy and anyone can download it for free. I find it much easier to use than Internet Explorer and love the multiple tabs feature. There are so many programmers aware of Firefox’s popularity that you can get free extensions for practically anything you want.

WordPress

I just recently found out this is Open Source Software. I am very excited about trying it out on my web servers. WordPress.org does need an to meet specific requirements, but it claims to be an easy install. I will write more about this later as I see how it suits my needs. I already love the program as a free portal, but want to include blogs under my own domain where I have more control. I am eager to see what the advantages of doing it this way are and will talk more about it as I learn more.

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