While I’m not for smaller businesses ditching their Windows operating system in favor of installing Linux, I am in favor of these busineses saving money by trying out many open source alternatives to pricey “commercial” software.
These open source applications can be used with Microsoft Windows XP, 2000 and etc.
Microsoft Office is very expensive – let’s face it. Although it is used by millions of businesses and ensuring your are compatible with other businesses is important there are competing products that cost less (some free) that just might work for you.
PC World writes A word of warning: open-source apps usually lack the polished interfaces and documentation of their commercial-software counterparts. But if you’re willing to put up with some rough edges, tricky installations, and the occasional incompatibility, you may find that these programs meet your needs, and at a price that can’t be beat. Of course, if you should feel moved to pay back the programs’ creators by contributing some cash to their program’s development, you’d be right in the spirit of open source.
Here’s a rundown of some other useful open-source utility programs:
* Looking for a free FTP client? Try Filezilla.
* An alternative to AIM and Windows MSN Messenger is the Jabberzilla IM client.
* Who says remote-access software has to be expensive? The next time you need to connect to a PC at a distance, give the free Virtual Network Computing program from RealVNC a try (registration required).
* When you’re in a chatty mood, you have permission to Speak Freely with this gratis Internet telephony client.
* The free 7-Zip file-compression program claims to offer a compression ratio that’s 2 percent to 10 percent greater than that offered by either PKZip or WinZip.
* For staying on the QT, it’s hard to beat the free Neocrypt encryption software, which supports AES, DES, Triple-DES, Blowfish, Skipjack, and five other encryption standards.
* And when it’s time to cover your tracks, pull out your Eraser, a program that overwrites the data on your drives in a way that makes it unrecoverable ($15 donation requested).