As an entrepreneur, you are always looking out for lowering the cost of your venture. One of the main cost component of any venture these days is IT. You usually pay an enormous amount of money on software applications such as desktop operating systems, word processing applications , anti - viruses.
It might be easy for large corporations with deep pockets to spend thousands of dollar( or Euros, Rupees) on these application but make no sense for a self funded entrepreneur.
When I started my venture, I always searched online for open source alternatives to the existing proprietary apps. I found that a number of applications are extraordinary and free to use. They sometimes stack up better than all the commercially developed application. Open source means that you are free to modify the source code and distribute it provided you provide that others can do that to your code as well.
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Don't worry much about that. Here are some of the great tools that are better than the commonly existing commercial apps. They can save you tonnes of money, trust me.
This is the browser I use 90% of time. It is just terrific. It has great add-ons, is super fast and very easy to use. I switched from the bundled browser to Firefox long back and have not looked at it again. Firefox has so many things to offer that you will never need any other browser
For my favorite desktop email client, I would choose Thunderbird. The new version is sleek and amazingly usable. Again it is from the stables of Mozilla and this software created by them is marvelous. I have configured almost all my mailboxes and I have never logged into them in the browser. I just start Thunderbird and it synchronizes all my mail boxes.
Do you want to have a world class database at very low price ? How about no price? Mysql is a RDBMS( relational database management system) that is a great open source alternatives to all the costly database. And it comes with its own designer as well( to design your own tables). I love it absolutely. It is easy to setup and works on all OS.
The top graphic developing software cost a ton. If you want a great free alternative try Inkspace. It has got a learning curve but once you master it, sky is the limit. It supports major graphical format and is very easy to use.
If you operate a website and frequently need to update the content, a great tool is there to help you. It is called as Filezilla. It is basically FTP upload program. With clean and intuitive interface, it is a great value for "no money" shall we say.
If you are tired of good old "notepad" but do not need the firepower of a complete word processing software, NOTEPAD++ is the way to go. It is a very handy tool when you want a structured document. It is also very easy to use. If you are into software development, it is very easy to write configuration files in this software.
An amazing piece of work. It contains all the programs that you need for your desktop publishing needs. It has spreadsheet, presentation and word processing software bundled. So if you don't want to spend lot of money, go ahead and try this software .
Though I have not used it much but it is a great flowchart drawing software. You can easily create flowchart diagrams and
export them in various formats.
I will be adding many more great Open Source/ Free to use applications to the list. So what are you waiting for , start trying them out and learn. That you save money from using these software is an added bonus. I hope you enjoyed reading the list