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Save Your Money!!! Open Source Software Vs. Proprietary Wallet Busters

Updated on June 6, 2009
Evil Inside Temptation
Evil Inside Temptation

Little Boy -- I Have Some Candy For You In This Van

No matter how much time I spend on the computer, I continue to be surprised and amazed at the wealth of information I still discover. Whether it be on the Internet or just spelunking through the caverns of my hard drive, I frequently discover more and more uses and applications. Due to this, my list of potential hobbies to enhance my boring life is growing to titanic proportions.

Unfortunately, some useful software I discover on my computer are only trial versions. These versions have a limited amount of uses before you have to buy, or it has less features that the full version contains. These teasers reel you in and by the time you figure out you actually have to buy the software, you're hooked. Then you see the price! Ugh! After you recover from this virtual kick to the nuts, you raise your hands up to the sky and scream, "Why Lord — why?!?! Why must I be tempted so?!?!"

Stay your index finger — do not click on that PayPal button yet!

There is a beacon of light behind the hulking shadow of expensive proprietary software. Come this way my friend; I will guide you. Soon you will see the light — I promise.

Open Source Software

"Open source is a development method for software that harnesses the power of distributed peer review and transparency of process. The promise of open source is better quality, higher reliability, more flexibility, lower cost, and an end to predatory vendor lock-in." -- Open Source Initiative

There is an open source equivalent for virtually every major proprietary software program out there and some are just as good, if not better. This hub lists just a few of the major ones.

Open Office

Equivalent: Microsoft Office

Compatibility: Cross-platform

Cost: Free, compare to $322.99 for Microsoft Office Standard 2007

Details: the following list contains programs in Open Office and their MS Office equivalents.

  • Write = MS Word
  • Calc = MS Excel
  • Impress = MS PowerPoint
  • Base = MS Access
  • Draw = MS Visio
  • Math = MS Equation Editor

Download Here


Equivalent: Adobe Photoshop CS4

Compatibility: Cross-platform

Cost: Free, compare to $639.49 Adobe Photoshop CS4

Details: customizable interface, photo enhancement, digital retouching and cloning, hardware support

Download Here


Equivalent: Adobe Dreamweaver CS4

Compatibility: Cross-platform

Cost: Free, compare to $359.99 for Dreamweaver CS4

Details: WYSIWYG HTML editor for website authoring.

Download Here


Equivalent: Microsoft Publisher

Compatibility: Cross-platform

Cost: Free, compare to $148.99 for MS Publisher 2007

Details: create brochures, flyers, newsletters, etc

Download Here


Equivalent: Microsoft Outlook

Compatibility: Cross-platform

Cost: Free, compare to $87.99 MS Outlook 2007

Details: an e-mail and news client, download Lightning to integrate Mozilla's Sunbird calendar with Thunderbird

Download Here

Avast! Home Edition

Equivalent: general anti-virus software

Compatibility: Cross-platform

Cost: Free, compare to general anti-virus software

Details: this is actually freeware not open source. Home edition is free for personal use on home computers.

Download Here


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    • adevwriting profile image

      Arun Dev 2 years ago from United Countries of the World

      I've heard about GIMP, Scribus and Avast but never about OpenOffice, Nvu and Thunderbird. Open Source Software are really amazing. Thanks for sharing such valuable (but free) information ;-)!

    • watergeek profile image

      watergeek 5 years ago from Pasadena CA

      Short, but sweet . . . and very useful. I'm going to check out Scribus. I just wrote a hub on MS Publisher, which I loved using, but I'm on a Mac now. BTW I linked my hub to this one. Hope that's ok.

    • profile image

      technibz 5 years ago

      Gimp is the best. Adobe is way overpriced. Great hub! Wish more and more people find out about open source.

    • KMattox profile image

      KMattox 6 years ago from USA


      Good Hub! I always like sharing information about free software. I have written a few hubs like that myself. I am writing a hub about alternative browsers and linked the two hubs, which is how I found yours, nice job, great information!

      Just to let you know, Libre Office has taken the place of Open Office. Libre Office is the new free standard and is an exact match and completely compatible with Open Office and even has the same extensions but is being developed by a different team as Open Office has been taken over by someone else and it might not be completely free anymore. Thanks for helping get the word out about free software. I voted up and useful.

    • imadork profile image

      imadork 7 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      Thank you LokisGrief! Lots of people don't seem to realize that there are plenty of good Open Source programs out there.

    • LokisGrief profile image

      LokisGrief 7 years ago from Missouri, United Staes

      very nice imadork. its always wondeful to see another crusader for the forces of good and freeware!

    • imadork profile image

      imadork 8 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      Thanks Gus. I love Linux too. I have a dual boot with Kubuntu and Vista.

    • GusTheRedneck profile image

      Gustave Kilthau 8 years ago from USA

      What a very useful and well-done hub you have produced. I use many of those open source program systems here, and I like them a whole lot. I will mention something about the OpenOffice series you described that I learned because I needed some help. I understand that OO is supposed to emulate Microsoft Office series, and it does. Someone sent me a file they had composed using Corel's "Word Perfect." I had a copy of that Corel software, but it did not function at all with my current operating system. I opened the file in OO, and it worked perfectly. That was something! I am also a Linux fan and use it in one of my computers. So, if you don't mind, I am going to bookmark your hub. Good going, friend of Hubbers!


    • imadork profile image

      imadork 8 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      Thank you for the suggestions Dreadpal.

    • dreadpal profile image

      dreadpal 8 years ago from Boulder Creek

      Great hub. I also like OxygenOffice which adds a bunch of templates and free plug-ins to Open Office. Also free. I know this is targeted more to home users, but I use a lot of Open Source enterprise apps--mainly SugarCRM and Nagios--in my work as a consultant.

    • imadork profile image

      imadork 8 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      Glad to help Suzanne.

    • LondonGirl profile image

      LondonGirl 8 years ago from London

      I really like Open Office and AVG - great programmes.

    • justmesuzanne profile image

      justmesuzanne 8 years ago from Texas

      Thanks! The Advanced System Care seems to be working great! Maybe I'll try Open Office next! :D

    • imadork profile image

      imadork 8 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      Unless you have some ancient pc, you have a problem that can be fixed.  Check startup programs on your computer by going to Run and type "msconfig".  Click on the "startup" tab.  Then go to this website:

      Type in the name of the programs that are listed as startup programs and see what the site says about them.  Unclick box if they say it is not needed.

      Also, download this free program:

      This program is awesome and I use it a lot!

    • justmesuzanne profile image

      justmesuzanne 8 years ago from Texas

      Hmmm...Well, my main issue is just that my poor old computer runs so slowly that it already takes 3 hours to boot up completely! I have to plan my day around it! I don't think I'll add any thing else to that! AVG runs once a day while I am sleeping (you know, around noon) and seems to keep my computer safe. Every once in a while it will decide to go crazy and run an unscheduled scan right while I am trying to do something important. This can blow a whole day's work! I hope to get more memory soon. Maybe that will speed things up a bit.

    • imadork profile image

      imadork 8 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      Suzanne: I like Avast. It has a boot-time scan option that could be helpful if you are having major issues.

    • justmesuzanne profile image

      justmesuzanne 8 years ago from Texas

      Great list of wonderful resources! :) How does Avast compare with AVG?

    • EYEAM4ANARCHY profile image

      Kelly W. Patterson 8 years ago from Las Vegas, NV.

      Open Office kicks ass...I've been meaning to try GIMP forever.

    • imadork profile image

      imadork 8 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      You're welcome Cris. Glad to help.

    • Cris A profile image

      Cris A 8 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      hey dork

      this is great! I'm a sucker for freeware - although keygens are always an option (but not as totally guiltless as freeware). Thanks for doing the hardwork for me. You rock!!!!