A program is not bad just because it’s not Open Source (or Free Software, or whatever the politically correct way to describe it is nowadays), but when the program tries to create it’s own protocol/file format/etc… when there are agreed upon standards, That is a bad thing. It is a practice used when trying to monopolize a market. Just look at the DVD-/+ and the Blue Ray/HD-DVD disasters. Yahoo Messenger can’t communicate with Msn Messenger or I use Skype and can only talk with a friend that has Skype. What can you do with a video file format like .wmv, if you do not use Windows Media player, we as consumers do not want that. WHERE are we heading to?
This is for All, Windows die hard and non. Open Source comes to our rescue.
Lets have a look at the most used Open Source apps for Windows.
Many do not know that there is OpenOffice for Windows
Of course, Mozilla Firefox and OpenOffice for Windows top the ranking. They are the most used Open Source app for Windows. OpenOffice for Windows is compatible to Microsoft Office. Saving your documents with the .doc extension makes it usable for both platforms
Gimp has very little reason to envy Adobe Photoshop. The most common tasks that the typical home user is going to require out of a bitmap editor is covered by the Gimp. Retouching personal photos? Need to remove red-eye? Background replacement? Selective colorization? and so on.
Its included in many Linux distribution e.g. Ubuntu, and its not only Open Source, its also free. The version for Windows is easy to learn, especially if you already know Photoshop.
Filezilla for Windows, is presently one of the most used FTP and SFTP client for Windows. Its fast and very easy-to-use. Above all its free and reliable. Update:Filezilla for long has been only on Windows, recently they released Linux and Mac versions, so it’s now cross-platform.
Many now use Skype for free calls online. Good. What about putting together free calls and Open Source. Great!!! Try out WengoPhone
Update 14 April 2009: WengoPhone is now known as QuteCom and has downloadable versions for Ubuntu, Windows and Mac/OSX . It uses the SIM protocol and puts together free PC to PC video and voice calls, and integrates all your IM contacts in one place. Its Open Source which means you can write your own OpenWengo compatible client, in case of need (this applies to ALL Open Source apps.), unlike Skype that will not open it’s protocol to Api developers.
Many of us out there like Chatting. Unfortunately we all can’t get into one community because the most used chatting apps use different protocols(poor behaviour). I’m talking of Yahoo and Msn Messenger. The only way push aside this mess is using Open Source Chat apps like aMSN. It’s a free open source MSN Messenger clone. aMSN has features not present in MSN Messenger. Users can set alarms, are able to see others who have removed them from their contact list, and are able to open many profiles at once. It is also very customizable, with extensions and themes available at the main site. aMSN also allows functions not available in the Macintosh version of MSN Messenger, such as webcam support, and the “nudge” feature.
Gaim(needs no presentation for its long hi-story) that is now known as Pidgin is also a good IM client, just as XChart— It is an IRC chat program for both Linux and Windows. It allows you to join multiple IRC channels (chat rooms) at the same time, talk publicly, private one-on-one conversations etc. Even file transfers are possible