Some of the commercial software like Photoshop are so expensive that an average user can not afford to buy it. Lately I am looking for some free or open source alternatives for windows programs and i was amazed with the range of programs available. Here i will list some of the open source or free programs as alternatives to windows commercial programs.
7-Zip is a open source file archiver program for windows. It supports packing and unpacking of 7z, ZIP, GZIP, BZIP2 and TAR format files and supports onlu unpacking of RAR, CAB, ISO, ARJ, LZH, CHM, Z, CPIO, RPM, DEB and NSIS. It provides better compression ratio than WinZip for ZIP and GZIP formats. It is an alternative to programs like WinZip
Audacity is free, open source software for recording and editing sounds.Audacity can be used to record live audio, convert tapes and records into digital recordings or CDs, edit Ogg Vorbis, MP3, and WAV sound files. cut, copy, splice, and mix sounds together.
Blender is a open source free software for creating 3D animations. Blender can be used for modelling, UV unwrapping, texturing, rigging, skinning, animating, rendering, particle and creating interactive 3D applications. Blender has robust features et similar to programs like 3ds Max and Maya.
ClamWin is a Free Antivirus for Windows 98/Me/2000/XP and 2003. ClamWin is a good alternative to commercial software like Norton, McAfee etc. Clamwin features include High detection rates for viruses and spyware, Scanning Scheduler, Automatic downloads of regularly updated Virus Database, Standalone virus scanner and right-click menu integration to Microsoft Windows Explorer, and addin to Microsoft Outlook to remove virus-infected attachments automatically.
eMule is a open source peer to peer file sharing (P2P) client tool.
Feedreader is free desktop RSS aggregation tool. “Feedreader automatically downloads updates from your favorite Web sites. So, it eliminates the need for you to constantly monitor multiple Web pages, while allowing you to immediately identify and retrieve new articles”
FileZilla is a free, open source FTP client for Windows. It supports FTP, SFTP, and FTPS protocols. It has all the essential features required for a FTP client. The main features of FileZilla are Ability to resume Uploads/Downloads, Site Manager with folders, Keep Alive system, Timeout detection, Firewall support, SOCKS4/5 and HTTP1.1 Proxy support, SSL secured connections, Upload/Download Queue, Drag&Drop.
The best cross platform supported web browser available on the net, it doesn’t need any introduction and many of you might be using. The wide range of Firefox Add-On’s make this the most powerful browser for all types of users. Firefox is an alternative to Microsoft Internet Explorer.
GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) is free open source raster graphics editor for manipulating photos or images. GIMP is an excellent software and alternative to expensive photoshop, it is used for photo retouching, image composition and image authoring.
hugin is a open source easy to use cross-platform panoramic imaging tool. Using hugin you can assemble a mosaic of photographs into as complete immersive panorama, stitch any series of overlapping pictures and much more.
Inkscape is an open source vector graphics editor. Inkscape is a good alternative to commercial vector graphics tools like Corel Draw, Adobe Illustrator, Freehand or Xara X. Inkscape uses Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG), an open XML-based W3C standard, as the native format. It can be used to create web2.0 buttons, banners, logos, icons etc. (see earlier review)
Juice is a free open source cross-platform podcast receiver application. It is used to download podcast media files, such as ogg and mp3s. Using juice you can schedule the podcast and juice will let you know when a new podcast is available. The downloaded files media files can be automatically copied to a digital audio player.
OpenOffice.org is the open source office suite similar to Microsoft office available to different platforms. OpenOffice.org is a collection of applications with the features similar to Microsoft Office. The Components include Writer, Calc, Base, Impress, Draw, Math, Quickstarter etc.
PDFCreator is a free program for creating PDF documents from windows programs. Once installed, it allows the user to select PDFCreator as their printer, allowing almost any application to print to PDF.
Pidgin, formerly known as Gaim is a multi-platform instant messaging client that supports many commonly used IM protocols. Pidgin is a free software and supports IM’s including Yahoo, Google Talk, Jabber, MSN, AOL, ICQ etc.
16. Programmers Notepad:
Programmer’s Notepad is the free, open source, text editor for programmers.
some of the features of Programmers Notepad: Code Folding/Outlining, Docking tool windows, Excellent external tool support with user-configurable output matching, Export to HTML (using CSS) and RTF, Word Wrapping
Scribus is an open source desktop publishing (DTP) application. It has some nice page layout features and can be used as an alternative to Adobe PageMaker, QuarkXPress and Adobe InDesign. “It can also create animated and interactive PDF presentations and forms. Example uses include writing small newspapers, brochures, newsletters, posters and books.”
Sunbird is open source desktop calender application from Mozilla foundation. Sunbird is a cross platform, open standards application built on Mozilla Toolkit.
Thunderbird is the open source desktop email application from Mozilla foundation. Thunderbird has the best features in the industry. “Thunderbird 2 features many new enhancements to help you better manage your unruly inbox, and stay informed. Thunderbird 2 scales to the most sophisticated organizational needs while making it easy to find what you need.”
20. VLC Media Player:
VLC Media Player is a open source media player from VideoLan project team. It is the best media player available in the net, it plays almost any file format available. It also supports streaming protocols. It is a good alternative to different media players.
Update: More Free Apps (40+ Free Windows Apps For You)