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Open Source Software

What is Open-Source Software?

Open-Source Software is non-proprietary computer software issued under various free-to-use or copyright-free licences, with open source code, such that the user or more often an internet community group can make changes allowing the software to adapt and be easily changed to user needs.

What is Open-Source Software good for?

We can often find Open-Source Software to do some surprisingly complex things. As well as plug-in replacements for common Windows applciations (see opposite), we can also find all sorts of pretty advanced medical, financial, legal or industrial applications.

So what is the Advantage of Open-Source Software?

Whilst replacing your commercial applications can save you hundreds of dollars, finding open-source applications for (for instance) advanced medical or trading purposes can save TENS OF THOUSANDS of DOLLARS! What to speak of the implementation timescale, especially if seeking to "re-invent the wheel" and develop from scratch.

Alternatives to Microsoft, Adobe and other proprietary software vendors

Though everybody does it, we do not have to use the default Microsoft or Adobe packages that the industry and media consider necessary for the running of our universe. There are open-source alternatives to all general windows applications and productivity software.

The Open Office Project from Sun Microsystems

Principal amongst these has to be Open-Office from Sun Microsystems, a fully compatible, highly professional and completely licence-free alternative to Microsoft Office, in all its incarnations. Open-Office offers Word Processing, Spreadsheets and Presentation tools in the same integrated format as Microsoft's, and often with an almost identical look and feel. Only the extremely advanced office user will notice the difference!

Some more of our favorites...

Here we present 3 of the most common replacements for the proprietary and bulky software bundled with the Microsoft Windows Operating system. Try them out!

  • Firefox The now world-famous Mozilla Firefox Web Browser, a better browser than Internet Explorer® by far, more secure, smoother, easier to customise, and STANDARDS-COMPLIANT! Firefox is the de-facto browser of choice for Web Development.

    Download Firefox
  • Thunderbird The Mozilla Thunderbird Email Client, a must-have replacement for Microsoft Outlook®. Identical in nearly every way, except it feels smoother, has better data handling, and much better security.

    Download Thunderbird
  • VLC VideoLan or VLC may not be as pretty as Winamp or Windows Media Player, but it plays everything, runs on everything (including mobile phones) and has a traffic cone for its logo. It can be used simply to play your music and DVDs or it can be used to stream AV around the home, form the backbone of a radio station, RIP any DVD or CD, etc. This is one very capable program.

    Download VLC
Open Source Software

For extensive information on Open-Source software, and to search for specific open-source and free-to-use professional software applications, please visit

Open Source Foundation