To understand the concept of open source we need to remember that the internet was meant to be an open and free area where we could share anything from anywhere and at anytime. O-S software is nothing but free software whose source code(programming code) is open and changeable by the user. If you think about it O-Ss really fill the requirement of free and open information.
Open Source Software(OSS) have many advantages. First of all its free. No hidden charges or update charges are required for running these programs. Secondly, they do not have those adds and stuff that are usually bundled with freeware(free software but non-O-S) like FreeRip. And last but not the least, they are usually very small. Have you noticed how long it takes MSN messenger to load? Digsby is a way faster alternative....but I'll tell you about that later.
Now here is a list of commercial programs and their O-S alternatives.
1. MSN Messenger/Google Talk/Yahoo Messenger
The above are all free, true, but they are not O-S. They also use different email clients. I mean why suffer with three different large RAM-using programs when you can access all these from one very small program - Digsby. Digsby allows you to access Hotmail, Yahoo, AOL, Facebook, etc. chat right from your desktop in application....isn't that the dream?
2. Microsoft Internet Explorer
Oh my god if I had a Fil for each time my explorer betrayed me, I would be a millionaire by now. Explorer 8 is by far the slowest of the recent browsers. I personally prefer Google Chrome. Its way faster and light on your computer's RAM.
3. Windows Media Player/ Quick Time
WMP may look cool and all but it has that problem of slow load up time and it dosent play all formats of video. You need to install Quick Time Player if you want to play MP4 videos. QT also dosen't support WMA/WMV formats. Best player around is of course none other than VLC Player. No need of explaining that one.
Oh please don't tell me you still use limewire? Limewire is costly. If you want good and fast speeds you have to upgrade to Pro and that is a bigger problem. All the updates and stuff will make you go mad. So go O-S and download Frost Wire. Its free, it uses the same severs as limewire so you can basically get the same exact things you want and used to get from, well, limewire.
Sure Adobe's Photoshop is useful for expert photographers and the like but for us normal people who just want to get out some red eye and maybe do some patchwork, Picasa is more than enough.
Yes I wrote Windows! Windows is not for heavy duty PC users. It gets slow and you just get tired after sometime. Ubuntu is a free and open Operating System unlike all others. Its fast, simple and the best thing about it is that theres a whole community behind it that will help you solve any problems you may encounter while using this OS.
Other than the ones I have mentioned above you should also check out my favorite open source software website Source Forge. Just follow the links given to download any software you read about. I'm always on the lookout for good O-Ss and if you happen to find some useful ones please write about it in the comment section or email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.