It takes a long time to ditch those applications with which you’re intimately familiar.

It starts, quite often, with your Office Suite.  No, I’m not talking about desk and chair, but rather Microsoft Office.  Excel is an excellent spreadsheet tool, there’s no doubt of that.  But quite often, people like to work differently to the prescribed “norm”, and Libre Office allows just that.  It’s not the only open source office suite, of course: there’s also KOffice, the Abiword/Gnumeric combiniation and so on.

Recently I’ve ditched other proprietary applications which I have worked with for years.  Why?  Well, for one I believe that switching applications is good, because it challenges you to think differently.  You have to learn new ways of doing old things, and this can help you think of new, better things to do.

Secondly, you get no love with proprietary applications.  Time and again, you pay your money and end up getting no support.  So, really, what is the point?  I’m not just talking about Microsoft, either; many proprietary software vendors are only able to make a profit by re-packaging open source software and selling access to it from within a proprietary system. Parallels, I’m thinking of you here.

The only way to beat companies is to not buy their products. It’s this simple.  Here are the ways I have ditched proprietary software:

  • Operating System: was Microsoft Windows XP, is now Fedora (16, currently)
  • Email:  was Microsoft Outlook, is now Mozilla Thunderbird
  • Office: was Microsoft Office, is now Libre Office
  • Web Browser: was always Firefox 😉
  • ..the list goes on…

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