With the world heading on to becoming a global village as most like to say, ’bridging the global divide ’ the term open source has come to mean so much, and has become so popular ,its true meaning and the subsequent understanding of the term has become muddled and blurred.
Over time, this usually happens as do all others that have great following. Even rumors have the truth that got them started in the first place and so does open source.
Open source software does not necessarily mean free access to source codes of software; there are various conditions software must fulfill to be ranked among the great Open Sourced.
To highlight a few:

any software under open source license could be given free or sold and the license does not require any royalties for such sale.

• any software under this license must have the source code shipped with them, free to download or could be shipped via a medium of sorts for a reasonable fee. Source code must also be in a language that is publicly understood and not some obscure language that defeats the purpose of it being open source.

The license allows for modification of original source code and any by –product of the modification should also be distributed under the same license as the original.
Among these are others that I would not like to bore you with.

Q?
Who chooses to turn the lips aside when honey drips right into the mouth? (Allergies do not count)

In essence what am trying to put across is why pay for software when there are “better” alternatives with same or even better support and work with equal industrial strength if not more. (An inspection would reveal a lot of unlicensed software where they do not belong).

1. Ever heard of the Open Office projects, an all platform, friendly, easy to use equivalent of Microsoft office. Need I say more? True, the Open office platform takes some getting used to, but the learning curve is so mild, nobody would like to take a roller coaster ride on. Buttons and icons that are straight to the point i.e. you can tell straight away what they stand for. Due to the open source nature, you get a barrage of formats (extensions to which you can save your files).
Ideal for startup companies? Yes and No
Yes, because it’s free of charge, drastically cut down overhead costs. Easy to use, requires none or very little training to get used to. Employee size is no matter.
No, because this package is not only for Startup companies. Companies/businesses that have already set up roots can easily migrate unto this open source platform.

2. Next on the list is a package a whole lot of you out there use, without realizing its open source. VLC player, long for “VideoLan Client (no more)” written by the VideoLan project. This multimedia software is the godfather of all multimedia players (others would differ here). From picture viewing to music recording, VLC’s got it all.

3. Ever thought any application would be able to compete with Photoshop? Well, lets’ be sincere here, Adobe Photoshop is one mean application. Enters Gimp. The competitor. At the Gimp corner, there is a steep learning curve but so does Photoshop. Gimp uses layers just like Photoshop. Even the menu bars are similar, plug-ins are available to enable expansion. So if don’t have the financials to get the Adobe Photoshop, you could settle for the Gimp, and you would not regret it, at least till you save enough to get the all you ever dreamed about; Photoshop.
To make that choice visit: [http:>NB: For all Photoshop diehards who decided to give Gimp a spin, well lucky you, GimpShop is available also under the same licensing as Gimp. It’s basically Gimp with an Adobe Photoshop styled GUI. Peek: http://www.gimpshop.com

4. The Corel draw equivalent under Open Source licensing? Inkscape. “An Open Source vector graphics editor, with capabilities similar to Illustrator, CorelDraw, or Xara X, using the W3C standard Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) file format. Inkscape supports many advanced SVG features (markers, clones, alpha blending, etc.) and great care is taken in designing a streamlined interface. It is very easy to edit nodes, perform complex path operations, trace bitmaps and much more. We also aim to maintain a thriving user and developer community by using open, community-oriented development.
”visit: http://inkscape.org

5. Are you fed up of firing up your Pc only to realize the only way to get surfing online is through a browser that’s been handed over to you on a silver platter? Who says silver platters are “the best thing to happen to you”? Check your updates to see what you are updating. (True for windows users). Why not join the free family. Mozilla Firefox is the light.
Check out: http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/new/
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