'Back when Datamation first started making lists of open source
software that could replace expensive proprietary applications, most
commercial software came in a box and required a flat fee for
purchase. These days, with the advent of cloud computing and software
as a service, most applications require a regular monthly or yearly
Those subscriptions make it seem like software has become more
affordable. After all, $10 or $20 a month doesn't seem like a lot. But
when you add up those repeating fees, users often pay more under the
new subscription plans than they did under the old flat-fee
arrangements. If you use a lot of different applications, those fees
can quickly add up. And it can be particularly hard to justify the
expense for a piece of software that you only use once in a while.
Open source software offers an alternative to paying those high fees.
And in many cases, the open source options are as good as or better
than the comparable commercial, proprietary solutions. In fact, in the
most recent BlackDuck Future of Open Source Survey, the top reasons
why people said they use open source software were because of the
features, freedom from vendor lock-in and the quality of the
solutions. Price and total cost of ownership weren't even on the list.
In other words, people are using open source because the software is
so good, and the fact that it is free is just a side benefit.
The list below includes a variety of open source software for home
users, SMBs and large enterprises. All of these applications can
replace commercial products that can carry high prices. Even if buyers
choose to purchase support or other services for their open source
software, the open source options are generally much more affordable
than the comparable proprietary solutions.'
Dept. of Computer Science
University of Waikato, NZ
+64 (7) 858-5174