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Best Free Open Source Software For Windows

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the where's-vlc? dept.

Software 324

snydeq writes "InfoWorld surveys the FOSS-on-Windows landscape, detailing the 10 free open source solutions most likely to unseat proprietary offerings. 'Some, like TrueCrypt and VirtualBox, are real diamonds in the rough: enterprise-grade solutions that deliver many of the same bells and whistles of their commercial brethren, but for free. Others, like Firefox and OpenOffice.org, are already legendary, and their strong followings ensure their continued development and support at levels that rival the best proprietary solutions.'" Rather than click through 10 different pages, the slideshow presentation at least lets you hover over each page's link to preview the author's top picks.

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324 comments

I can't believe they forgot (0, Offtopic)

tacarat (696339) | more than 4 years ago | (#28964229)

Cowboy Neal

Re:I can't believe they forgot (1, Offtopic)

Divebus (860563) | more than 4 years ago | (#28964337)

Ubuntu

Best open source software for WINDOWS (3, Insightful)

Junaos (1587199) | more than 4 years ago | (#28964559)

So obviously the answer is VirtualBox.

THEN Ubuntu.

Re:Best open source software for WINDOWS (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28964799)

Or Wubi

Re:Best open source software for WINDOWS (1)

Eudial (590661) | more than 4 years ago | (#28965465)

One could argue that the best thing that could happen to windows is to be replaced with Ubuntu.

Not that I completely agree with that reasoning. Driving the computer illiterate masses into Linux just causes headache for the Linux savvy that have to spend their days explaining to people where the Start menu is in Linux.

"Hover on the slideshow"...? (4, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 4 years ago | (#28964273)

You could just list them in the summary - in less space than it takes to explain the "hover" trick

Re:"Hover on the slideshow"...? (4, Informative)

VoltageX (845249) | more than 4 years ago | (#28965773)

Or better, www.osalt.com, lists Windows Apps and their alternatives.

The list, for those who don't care about pictures (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28964307)

  1. FileZilla
  2. VirtualBox
  3. OpenOffice.Org
  4. Firefox
  5. Paint.Net
  6. Media Player Classic
  7. TrueCrypt
  8. PDFCreator
  9. 7-Zip
  10. ClamWin

Re:The list, for those who don't care about pictur (5, Informative)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 4 years ago | (#28964643)

PDFCreator!? I just downloaded and installed it yesterday on a Vista machine at work. I got a Yahoo search toolbar installed after specifically telling the installer app not to do so, and then I also got a 404 redirector installed too!

This was from the installer I downloaded from sourceforge...

Re:The list, for those who don't care about pictur (2, Informative)

harmonise (1484057) | more than 4 years ago | (#28964691)

Yeah, I had that happen when I recently installed it. It's pretty slimy and left me with a bad impression of PDFCreator.

Re:The list, for those who don't care about pictur (2, Informative)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#28965287)

Not to mention that if you're using OpenOffice (like this article suggests you do) then you don't need a separate PDF app. OO.o generates PDFs just fine.

Re:The list, for those who don't care about pictur (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28964651)

Wireshark

Re:The list, for those who don't care about pictur (4, Informative)

harmonise (1484057) | more than 4 years ago | (#28964653)

How about a list of more apps?

Anyone else have any good recommendations?

Re:The list, for those who don't care about pictur (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 4 years ago | (#28964823)

I was going to suggest CutePDF, but it's freeware, not FLOSS.

Re:The list, for those who don't care about pictur (2, Informative)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 4 years ago | (#28965415)

Celestia - astronomy program, lets you travel around the universe
Wireshark (as another poster already recommended) - lets you capture network traffic
FileZilla Server - FTP server
Cygwin - gives you Linux-like environment
Marble - 3D globe

Re:The list, for those who don't care about pictur (1)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 4 years ago | (#28965475)

With AviSynth [avisynth.org] , you can write scripts for complex video editing tasks. AviSynth with do mixing on the fly in your video player when you run the script. Very nice; it moves complex video editing from the world of point-and-click GUIs to coding!

Re:The list, for those who don't care about pictur (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28965637)

BonkEnc [bonkenc.org] is way better than CDex. CDex has this little problem where it will randomly crash itself on certain files when transcoding and it won't directly transcode OGG or FLAC.

Re:The list, for those who don't care about pictur (4, Insightful)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 4 years ago | (#28964657)

I truly pity anyone who really thinks FileZilla is the best FTP client out there. Why don't more people worship The Perfection That Is WinSCP [winscp.net] ? :(

Re:The list, for those who don't care about pictur (1)

sitkill (893183) | more than 4 years ago | (#28965625)

Does winscp have a linux version? Serious question (and yes I know this article is about windows, not linux). I liked winscp, but as soon as I started using both ubuntu and winxp/vista machines daily, having a uniform ftp environment was worth more than switching between the two.... I must admit, I didn't find a "winscp" linux version searching through google, and filezilla was there all nice and packaged for both environments. that alone would have given the nod to filezilla...

Re:The list, for those who don't care about pictur (1, Insightful)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 4 years ago | (#28965717)

Agreed.

The best part of WinSCP is that you can turn off the retard feature most FTP clients have where they show local files in one pane and remote files in another. Hello, McFly! I don't need a listing of local files, I have WINDOWS EXPLORER OPEN RIGHT NEXT TO THE FTP CLIENT! The retardation of opening your FTP client, then having to navigate to the same window you have open in Explorer just amazes me.

Re:The list, for those who don't care about pictur (0, Troll)

Killer Orca (1373645) | more than 4 years ago | (#28964713)

How on Earth is this list the top 10? Many of these products have serious competition, or betters

FileZilla

Didn't work when I tried it for a simple FTP transfer because of default settings I couldn't figure out how to undo.

VirtualBox

Never tried it

OpenOffice.Org

Besides the fact that it is implementing an Office 2007 style ribbon who outside of business users really needs a full office suite anymore?

Firefox

Maybe if Opera open sources their browser they can be on this list, not sure if Chrome is really open.

Paint.Net

What about the GIMP, or is it because this is dead simple to use?

Media Player Classic

My vote goes to VLC here, hands-down.

TrueCrypt

Never used it.

PDFCreator

I only view PDFs so I have never needed creation software, and when I view them I use Sumatra.

7-Zip

I've heard better things about PeaZip, but I have not used either too much.

ClamWin

I thought this wasn't even under development any more? Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Re:The list, for those who don't care about pictur (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28965243)

Your commentary is almost entirely without value.

Let's see, you diss Firefox, then make a lame, go-nowhere comment about Chrome.

4 of the applications you've either never tried or use so little you have nothing useful to say.

GIMP is simply way too much application for 90% of the users out there. Great app., but it's got a steep learning curve, just as PhotoShop and CorelDraw do.

Oh, and I love the comment about OpenOffice: "...who outside of business users really needs a full office suite anymore...". Oh, well then, that solves it. Business users don't matter so we can ignore them completely.

Re:The list, for those who don't care about pictur (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28964869)

Unfortunately, Paint.NET is no longer open source.

Re:The list, for those who don't care about pictur (1)

Anonymous Cowar (1608865) | more than 4 years ago | (#28964961)

Here i was thinking it would introduce me to NEW stuff, pretty much the only piece i don't have hours and hours of experience with is virtualbox. I guess that slashdot eats up these pat-on-the-back articles endorsing software that they've been using for YEARS.

Re:The list, for those who don't care about pictur (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28965121)

1. FileZilla

FileZilla may be among the best FTP clients Open Source has to offer, but it doesn't even count as competition to closed source FTP clients like SmartFTP. That said, I still prefer it for its license.

VirtualBox

VirtualBox is clearly in the early stages of becoming a very useful program, but so far it lacks everything that could make it an "enterprise level" application. Let's revisit that classification when it does branched snapshots and virtual machine migration (preferably live).

OpenOffice.org

Good stuff, but this is the one area where not being the "standard" is a huge flaw.

Firefox

Mozilla should stop turning Firefox into an extension of Google services. Apart from that, Firefox rocks. Enterprises would probably like some more central management features and longer maintenance for old versions.

Paint.Net

There is only Photoshop. I don't like that it is this way, but the competition is too far behind to be considered competition in professional environments.

Media Player Classic

A small media player which does what it's supposed to do with the least amount of fuss. Thumbs up.

TrueCrypt

Is there even commercial competition for TrueCrypt?

PDFCreator

Don't know, don't care. I create my PDFs with OpenOffice.

7-Zip

One of many free zip tools which basically all do the same.

ClamWin

No.

The list, for those who don't care about WINDOWS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28965185)

1. Ubuntu
2. Debian
3. Fedora
4. Gentoo ...

Re:The list, for those who don't care about pictur (1)

dzym (544085) | more than 4 years ago | (#28965433)

ClamWin? ClamWin recently false-positived on userinit.exe in the system32 directory. The vetting on this program isn't nearly solid enough for it to be recommended for use on a windows machine, free/Free or not.

The only place I use ClamAV in is passing over emails on my linux machine.

Lisp in a Box (1, Interesting)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 4 years ago | (#28964315)

Not going to be the next firefox in terms of popularity... but lisp in a box is just nice for getting into lisp/emacs on any platform. Used to be a big learning curve how to set slime, etc. up and all that.

http://common-lisp.net/project/lispbox/ [common-lisp.net]

Re:Lisp in a Box (2, Insightful)

Junaos (1587199) | more than 4 years ago | (#28964361)

(let ((lisp (not real programming language))) ((parentheses (too many))) )

Re:Lisp in a Box (4, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 4 years ago | (#28964885)

Man, don't be dissing Lisp. Lisp is the foundation of a lot of the niftier concepts in lots of languages today, and is considered by most computer scientists to be one of the most perfect languages ever invented. Yeah, all those parentheses are a pain, but they consistently push you to do the Right Thing, and for me one of the highest complements I can place on non-Lisp code is "that looks almost Lisp-ish".

And if you don't believe me, believe these guys:
"The greatest single programming language ever designed." - Alan Kay
"Lisp is worth learning for the profound enlightenment experience you will have when you finally get it; that experience will make you a better programmer for the rest of your days, even if you never actually use Lisp itself a lot." - ESR
"LISP being the most powerful and cleanest of languages, that's the language that's the GNU project always prefers." - RMS
"Any sufficiently complicated C or Fortran program contains an ad hoc informally-specified bug-ridden slow implementation of half of Common Lisp." - Philip Greenspun
"These are your father's parentheses. Elegant weapons, for a more... civilized age." - Randal Munroe

Re:Lisp in a Box (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28965173)

Step 1: Cut a hole in a box.

Step 2: Put your lisp in that box.

Step 3: Make her open the box.

and that's the way you dooo iiiiit

Truecrypt (2, Informative)

dnaumov (453672) | more than 4 years ago | (#28964359)

Is the reason I actually stuck with Windows 2008 Server when evaluating my choices for a home NAS solution with easy-to-use partition encryption that doesn't get in my way and yes, I had tried out different Linux and *BSD-based solutions, but in the end, Win2008+Truecrypt was simply too powerful and too convenient to not pick as the clear winner. I might look at FreeBSD and OpenSolaris again when ZFS crypto finally gets implemented to see how it fares on the usability side of things.

Re:Truecrypt (2, Informative)

cstdenis (1118589) | more than 4 years ago | (#28964673)

There is a Linux version of TrueCrypt.

Re:Truecrypt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28965453)

Hell, on Linux you have a bunch of choices and TrueCrypt would actually be my last choice just because of the secretive development that goes on around it.

dm-crypt and loop-aes are both good proven choices (although loop-aes seems to be losing steam as it's still not in the kernel by default).

Re:Truecrypt (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28964863)

What's the point of an encrypted disk on a server? Isn't the whole point of a server to "serve" that data constantly (ie the data is availble at all times)? I mean, unless you unmount/remount the volumes each time you use them, encryption isn't really doing anything but taking up extra CPU cycles.

Re:Truecrypt (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 4 years ago | (#28965467)

Maybe he has a bunch of illegal files on there (KP).

If you're worried about the security of data on your server, then keep your house/office locked properly.

OpenOffice legendary? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28964381)

Only is you like teh suck.

I know many people who have used OpenOffice and not one of them thinks it holds its own against MS Office. Including myself.

Re:OpenOffice legendary? (3, Informative)

LaskoVortex (1153471) | more than 4 years ago | (#28964623)

I know many people who have used OpenOffice and not one of them thinks it holds its own against MS Office.

Me. Now you know one. Will that stop you from posting trollbait like this?

Re:OpenOffice legendary? (5, Informative)

Anachragnome (1008495) | more than 4 years ago | (#28964895)

That's interesting.

I did a recent verbal survey in a literature class at the community college I am attending and 45% of the class was using it exclusively(other then the forced use of MS Office at the college labs).

I did it again at the end of the semester and that number had changed to 60%. It is possible that my first survey prompted the increase, but I also asked if the newer users preferred it over MS's product. ALL of them said they did. I then asked WHY.

The most common answer was that it was completely cross-compatible as far as opening MS created files...and it was free. The students could create files on the school MS system, then go home and open it in Open Office. And that it was free. Another reason they gave was that it was free.

I understand that there are some issues with bouncing back and forth between MS Office and Open Office, but most students choose one or the other. And its free.

As you might expect, students are not keen on spending upwards of $200 on MS Office when they can get Open Office for...free.

Did I mention that it is free?

Re:OpenOffice legendary? (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 4 years ago | (#28965069)

Hmmm, I fought with MS Office 2007 today and lost the battle. I had to complete the task with OpenOffice. The document reached a size where things started to screw up at random: Paragraph numbers disappear, the table of contents screws up, the bullets menu becomes greyed out so I cannot apply bullets to a list (but doing them one at a time by typing an asterisk worked). Gawddammit.

So people who keep saying that MS Office is better than OpenOffice are probably only working on one page memos. In my experience MS Office 2007 is a bug ridden POS and OOo is quite a bit better - not perfect either, but much better - especially with large documents.

Re:OpenOffice legendary? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28965211)

So people who keep saying that OpenOffice is better than Microsoft Office are probably only working on documents. In my experience OpenOffice Base is a bug ridden POS and MSO is quite a bit better - not perfect either, but much better - especially with databases and spreadsheets.

Re:OpenOffice legendary? (1)

GF678 (1453005) | more than 4 years ago | (#28965645)

Did I mention that it is free?

That's rather impressive given the fact MS Office is pirated up the wazoo. People at my uni would much prefer pirating MS Office instead of having to spend the time learning OpenOffice. It's free either way.

Re:OpenOffice legendary? (4, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#28965371)

I know many people who have used OpenOffice and not one of them thinks it holds its own against MS Office. Including myself.

OO.o will:

* Export to PDF
* Import a plethora of formats that MS Office can't open.
* Export to Open Document Format (MS Office 2007 with SP2 will do this, but previous versions can't)
* Allow me to easily install and manage extensions
* Run natively on Mac, Linux and Windows
* Doesn't cost a penny.

We pay $400 a pop for MS Office licenses here at work. Novell's Go-oo fork implements better macro support and such which is one of the few complaints I get about vanilla OO.o. So, a free product that implements 99% of the paid product's features, including every feature I've ever needed over the past 20 years, and then does several things that MS Offiice can't do, can't hold its own?

What is your definition of hold its own?

VirtualBox huh? (0)

RichardJenkins (1362463) | more than 4 years ago | (#28964407)

Not reading the article, I assume your considering VMWare Workstation its commercial brethren? VirtualBox doesn't include USB support in the Open Source version, which for my needs makes it a non-starter.

Their proprietary version (free for personal use - even in a commercial environment) is a pretty good alternative.

Re:VirtualBox huh? (1)

zuzulo (136299) | more than 4 years ago | (#28964845)

Thats just blatantly untrue for me anyway - i am using the VirtualBox open source edition extremely frequently and i get USB support out of the box for input devices, mass storage, etc. So far i havent found anything 'bad' about it, and trust me, i have been looking. Are you using the latest versions and have you actually *tried* the USB support?

Frankly i like VirtualBox better than any other commercial or open source solution for virtualization, and i have tried them all. Maybe when a good microkernel virtualization system comes out that handles devices including graphics well, but until then or i run across something VirtualBox doesnt support, it has my vote ...

Re:VirtualBox huh? (1)

Timothy Brownawell (627747) | more than 4 years ago | (#28965241)

VirtualBox doesn't include USB support in the Open Source version

I thought this changed recently?

Re:VirtualBox huh? (1)

RichardJenkins (1362463) | more than 4 years ago | (#28965607)

I was using 2.1.4 from the Ubuntu repositories. VirtualBox themselves still list it as only being in the closed Source version only (http://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Editions) and a quick look at the release notes doesn't show a change in policy, but someone else replied that they've got USB with the OSE in the latest version, so maybe it is in v3 OSE

Certainly the closed source edition has very good support for USB and they say proprietary features may be included in the OSE in the future. Can anyone clarify?

Printer Friendly List (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28964469)

AKA No Slideshow version
http://www.infoworld.com/print/84903

Wubi? (3, Informative)

jdb2 (800046) | more than 4 years ago | (#28964485)

Seriously though, if you include Cooperative Linux [colinux.org] then you get to include most of the Posix/Unix/Linux free-software universe.

But still, I say Wubi [wubi-installer.org] is the #1 piece of free software to be had on Windows -- har har har. :P ;)

jdb2

Re:Wubi? (1)

jdb2 (800046) | more than 4 years ago | (#28964511)

Obviously someone can't take a joke.

jdb2

Re:Wubi? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28964597)

it's better than being modded down by some open source zealot who can't accept that linux doesn't live up to it's mythological status. nothing is more pathetic than being modded down for being honest.

but this is slashdot. it's not about the truth.

Open Office - Just lacks Outlook, that's all (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28964545)

Open Office continues to be a joke. Why even bother developing a competitor to MS Office without including an Outlook clone? This has been a show-stopper to my adoption of OO, as well as numerous individuals and businesses that I know.

Re:Open Office - Just lacks Outlook, that's all (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 4 years ago | (#28964647)

How many people do you really know who use Outlook outside of the corporate environment?

For what OO does offer Outlook was the last thing it needed. Maybe now would be a good time to include it but overall it seems that most home users are using web mail.

Hell, I have Outlook on my machines and I still don't use it.

Re:Open Office - Just lacks Outlook, that's all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28964771)

One here, for starters. I'm a non-corporate guy who needs a nice integrated contacts/calendar/tasklist app that works offline as well as online. Basically something like Outlook but not Outlook. Any suggestions? Thanx

Re:Open Office - Just lacks Outlook, that's all (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#28965405)

Outlook needs to be replaced with a full, proper PIM solution. Evolution, Kontact, Thunderbird/Sunbird, etc. all do the chore. OpenOffice can play nice with those apps.

And again, if most users at home will never use it, why does OOo need it?

Re:Open Office - Just lacks Outlook, that's all (1)

NervousNerd (1190935) | more than 4 years ago | (#28964995)

I believe you've never heard of Evolution [wikipedia.org] then.

Re:Open Office - Just lacks Outlook, that's all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28965597)

I believe you've never heard of Evolution [wikipedia.org] then.

We try to use Evolution at work to replace Outlook. It is a miserable piece of buggy crap. I am very sorry, but Evolution's Exchange support is not even beta quality.
I would caution anyone who tries to use it.

Re:Open Office - Just lacks Outlook, that's all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28965005)

as well as numerous individuals and businesses that I know.
How many do you know? Two?

They don't call it Microsoft LookOut! for a reason. Your looking for an organizer that does email. There are lots of solutions that don't require a Windows + Office and per computer license(s). If you send me $50 USD I will send you 5 different PIM/Email programs for you to keep. Of course, if you weren't a such dumb-ass, you would just Google a solution yourself.

Enjoy.

Re:Open Office - Just lacks Outlook, that's all (1)

Anachragnome (1008495) | more than 4 years ago | (#28965055)

Open Office + Thunderbird?

Works for me, and has for quite some time. It really isn't that hard to Control-c and Control-v.

Outlook not in my suite spot (1)

argent (18001) | more than 4 years ago | (#28965137)

Why does a document suite need a mail program? It's not like there's not forty zillion perfectly good mail programs out there, so why should they waste resources creating another one?

You might as well complain that it doesn't include a flight simulator.

Re:Open Office - Just lacks Outlook, that's all (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 4 years ago | (#28965523)

What an idiotic post. Outlook is a giant turd of a program, and the only reason I use it is because my stupid employers always require it. For my own email, I use gmail, like millions of other people, and Gmail has a calendar too which works great. As a bonus, it's faster to read email using Gmail (with its servers located who-knows-where), than it is for me to read email using Outlook which is located on my own machine. How'd MS manage to accomplish that?

paint.net? (2, Interesting)

fermion (181285) | more than 4 years ago | (#28964561)

Never heard of the application. Summary say it is extremely limited. Is there a reason, other than complexity of interface, that one might choose it over gimp. I suppose gimp does not have all the shapes of a drawing program, but it does paint, with colors.

Re:paint.net? (5, Insightful)

EvanED (569694) | more than 4 years ago | (#28964701)

Is there a reason, other than complexity of interface, that one might choose it over gimp.

"complexity of interface" is a pretty damn good thing to base a decision on.

I suppose gimp does not have all the shapes of a drawing program, but it does paint, with colors.

When you have to look up documentation [gimp.org] to figure out how to draw a straight line in the Gimp, and that documentation is somewhat condescending, you might start to think that the Gimp isn't actually that good for simple tasks.

Re:paint.net? (1)

abigor (540274) | more than 4 years ago | (#28965677)

The best thing about that assholish tutorial is the terrible spelling and grammar. What a joke.

Re:paint.net? (1)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 4 years ago | (#28964761)

Paint.net is 1.6 megabytes and does everything most people need, even people who take a lot of photos but don't need to go into professional-level editing. It's one of the most impressive programs on any platform.

Re:paint.net? (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 4 years ago | (#28964781)

Article conflates the meanings of "Free".

It says it's "free" only, not OSS. They mean free-as-in-beer. However, the Free if FOSS means free-as-in-freedom.

Re:paint.net? (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 4 years ago | (#28965789)

According to its website (http://www.getpaint.net/license.html) Paint.NET is MIT-licensed. I don't know which doublespeak definition of "free" that goes under, but it's definitely open source.

Re:paint.net? (2, Interesting)

Nimloth (704789) | more than 4 years ago | (#28964923)

Paint .NET is a real good middle ground between MS Paint and Photoshop. The interface is lightning fast and neat, real easy to use, and pretty powerful. For a home user who occasionally has to edit graphics and/or photos, it's a neat program and it's free. Sure beats MS Paint at anything. If you're used to the GIMP, stick with it.

Re:paint.net? (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 4 years ago | (#28965559)

Because not everyone wants to retouch photos or do other complex things requiring a tool like GIMP. Many times, simpler is indeed better. If I'm just drawing a simple diagram, and don't want to futz around with some Visio-like tool (such as Kivio) since it'll take me three times as long, I just start up a simple paint tool, such as KolourPaint in KDE.

Re:paint.net? (1)

GF678 (1453005) | more than 4 years ago | (#28965591)

Paint.NET is extremely small (1.6 MB download). It uses the .NET framework so it's well integrated with the Windows GUI. Unlike the GIMP it's very easy to use. It's fast. It doesn't have as many function as GIMP sure, but what it does have, it's nicer to use than GIMP by miles.

Cygwin! (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28964603)

Cygwin!

does cygwin count as open source? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28964661)

I really like my cygwin. I would probably move to linux if I didn't have it.

VirtualBox, eh? (2, Informative)

rainmaestro (996549) | more than 4 years ago | (#28964717)

I suppose it has a few pluses:
--It isn't a memory hog like VMWare.
--Guest tool installation is noticeably easier for non-MS guests.

But I still have issues:
--Installing guest tools completely breaks my OpenSolaris guest display.
--My shiny 1 GB graphics card becomes a 128 MB POS in the guests.
--No USB support in the Open version.
--Running my OpenSolaris guest in NAT mode totally gimps the connection.

VirtualBox isn't bad, but I can't see it being a VMWare killer anytime soon.

Re:VirtualBox, eh? (1)

kill-1 (36256) | more than 4 years ago | (#28965363)

Yes, calling VirtualBox "enterprise grade" stretches it a little bit. It's a nice tool and they're making consistent progress, but I wouldn't recommend it for mission-critical solutions. There are just too many little bugs, also regressions in new versions. Most of them get fixed over time, but I still have to work around some things. VMWare on the other side has "always worked" for me.

What about VLC? (5, Informative)

shinedog (1412267) | more than 4 years ago | (#28964759)

Surely VLC [videolan.org] should have made this list? While it isn't exactly pretty it is very much FOSS, cross platform, and removes the need to download endless quantities of random codecs. Definitely better that Media Player classic in my book.

Re:What about VLC? (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 4 years ago | (#28964879)

Prettiness aside, I wonder why extended settings to for example tweak audio or video metrics always require two clicks to access.

And even after accessing them, you need to re-activate them before any adjustment.

Why? The reason I access these settings is to adjust them so it's better if I find them already activated. Is this too much to ask?

Re:What about VLC? (1)

GF678 (1453005) | more than 4 years ago | (#28965635)

It's probably worth mentioning Media Player Classic Home Cinema, which is a fork of MPC that contains (among other things) integrated codecs via ffdshow. I prefer using this to VLC because of the various weird GUI bugs in VLC, plus the accurate seeking MPC-HC has compared to VLC. VLC comes a close second though, and first place if you aren't running Windows.

Wow, I just found the other half of this list!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28965061)

Turns out, TFA has a part 2. I'll just give the programs listed in that part.

vlc (the only player you will (most likely) ever need)*

cygwin (unix like environment)

kde for windows (desktop environment for windows, cool)

wubi (ubuntu installer for windows)

pidgin (IM/IRC)*

tremulous (3d aliens vs humans game)

latex (document preparing)*

python (language)* :P

vim (editor)*

emacs (editor)* (yes I'm evil, don't state the obvious)

* you left this out? really?

There are many more that deserve to be mentioned but I just don't have the will. have fun.

if you're going to do all that (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 4 years ago | (#28965253)

you might as well install Linux

Re:if you're going to do all that (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 4 years ago | (#28965587)

Unfortunately, that's not an option for those of us condemned to corporate serfdom, so these FOSS-on-Windoze programs are great for keeping us sane.

I don't know how I'd survive without Vim.exe, for instance.

Paint.Net isn't open source any more (2, Informative)

rklrkl (554527) | more than 4 years ago | (#28965305)

It's really bizarre that the article author included Paint.Net in a list of "best free open source software for Windows", because the source code - as the author himself even admits - is *not* available for free download for any of the recent versions of Paint.Net.

If that wasn't enough, there's been no new release of Paint.net for almost a year and I'd have thought GIMP (or GIMPShop) was a clearly superior (and fully open source) graphics package on Windows anyway.

Enterprise ready winners (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#28965447)

If we're discussing enterprise ready winners, why not talk about Zimbra and Alfresco?

The main reason suits don't want to talk about leaving Microsoft or considering FOSS on their desktop is because they are very much tied to Outlook. And right now Sharepoint is Microsoft's new big gun.

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