- GIMP: A graphic editor much like Photoshop.
- Inkscape: A vector program in the spirit of Illustrator
- Scribus: Think Quarkxpress and InDesign
- Open Office: Comparable to MS Word, includes word processor, spreadsheet, database, presentation and drawing programs.
- NVU: Dreamweaver-esque WYSIWYG HTML editor
- Firefox: Browser that can replace Internet Explorer
- Thunderbird: E-mail client much like Outlook
- Joomla, Drupal and OSCommerce: Website-building platforms/content management systems
The advantages are evident for low-budget sole proprietorships and startups, but open-source software also brings many benefits to larger enterprises. For one, these applications are not bound by clandestine, proprietary code and therefore can be customized to any business environment. Support is not limited to what the developer offers, either, so you are free to choose from many service vendors to fulfill this need. Why do people spend so much time and effort creating programs they're going to give away for free? Giving something away for free is a great way to attract potential customers. Not only can your business take advantage of the cost savings afforded through open-source software, your marketing team can take a hint from this successful business model: Give something away that's truly great, and people will come back to see what else you have to offer. What open-source solutions have you used?