11 Free Softwares from Microsoft!

Microsoft - The road to ?

Photo by Nils Geylen

Microsoft The road to ?

Microsoft has been known for the proprietary softwares and need no introduction! There has always been a conflict of views across communities. While some claim that Microsoft provides value for money, FOSS activists have often denied it. Suites and programs like Open Office and GIMP have often been compared to MS Office and Adobe Photoshop, on various grounds. One of the factors being the price.

However, there are a lot of free programs that Microsoft has to offer. We list 11 of them, today;

  1. Windows Live Writer
    This is undoubtedly the best desktop-blogging application that comes for free. The amount of flexibility it offers is matchless, making it one of the best picks for bloggers across the world, both professionals and amateurs.
  2. Server Quest Game II
    Do you find it relaxing to sit and play on your console of PC for hours on end? Well, there is one more item to include to your inventory. If you are into classics, it is one classic you will want to try your hands on. It features the same pixilated graphics featured in King Quest and Leisure Suit Harry. The game is designed with Silverlight and runs on the Internet browser.
  3. SQL Server Express 2008
    This is a slimmed down version of the SQL server but with the same powerful tools to enable you create your websites and applications. The server comes in three variations – Express, Express with Advanced Services and Express with tools. The program is simple to learn, easy to use and offers the same database capabilities as the SQL server.
  4. Office Accounting Express 2008
    Structured on the familiar Microsoft office interface, Office Accounting Express 2008 is a simple to use but powerful accounting tool of all times. It is engineered to blend seamlessly with other office applications.
  5. SyncToy 2.0
    As the name has it, SyncToy acts a synchronization tool that is tailored to help you keep duplicate files open on your computer or over a network. It is also a powerful back up tool. It has a simple to use interface which is a plus.
  6. Windows Steady State
    If you operate a cyber café or a large class and the chances of computers getting crashed is high, you might want to try out Windows SteadyState. The program allows you to restore every computer to the first day of configuration.
  7. Worldwide Telescope
    With images straight from the Hubble Space Telescope, this program brings the power of outer space exploration right into your house. You can engage in a rich user experience where you shuffle through hundreds of images from space.
  8. Virtual PC 2007
    This program allows you to run several operating systems and applications on one physical computer. A simple to install and run software.
  9. XML Notepad 2007
    If you find XML scripting task boring, you might want to give XML Notepad 2007 a try. Featuring different colors for different tags and classes, it is developed to make scripting and editing your XML files easier and fun.
  10. Visual Web Developer 2008
    Wannabe website developers have something for them! This program allows you to get as imaginative and diverse as it can possibly get. Tagging along powerful tools, it is one of the easy-to-use web design tools.
  11. Paint.Net
    This is simply a clever, well designed image editing software. Structured on the .NET platform, it is set to take your image editing to an entirely new level.

How many of these have your had a hands on? Which are the other Microsoft programs that are free to use? Do share your experiences with us.

Economics behind the Open Source Model

Economics and Open Source: Relationships exist everywhere!

Photo by Eschipul

Economics and Open SourceRelationships exist everywhere!

Economics is often linked with a rationale of understanding the flow of money. This can be considered analogous to amateurs linking open source paradigm to free software! Both economics and open source software have a wider horizon.

Economics is majorly about understanding the management of resources in a system while Open Source is based upon a lot of operations which do not necessarily involve the “free” element in it. To be precise, Open Source and Economics are related in a sense that they require time and effort to be quantified and measured by both – producers and consumers. The “perceived value” of these resources in the Open Source community is actually worth pondering a thought over.

The successful economic paradigm shift in developing free software for people is actually looked down by the traditionalists in terms of it having an economically detrimental effect on the proprietary software industry. But in verity, the fact is that successful economic models applicable to the Open Source are both sustainable and of stupendous benefit to the overall software industry.

The economic model that is directly applicable here is the concept of “market” which forms a basis for free market economics i.e. supply and demand of a specific product or service. Like other markets, Open Source also constitutes for the demand of a product resulting in its supply and a source which acts as a medium for exchange.

A few identifiable products and services which are exchanged in the Open Source market include;

  • Fulfillment of a particular demand
  • Promotion of products and services
  • Source coding of the deliverable
  • Enhancement and De-bugging tools
  • Reputation

Today, a company – big or small, needs software to implement business operations and hence make it more efficient. The two main factors that influence the Open Source market are enablers of technology and differentiating parameters of business. The main economic archetypes of Open Source software development are;

  • Optimizing Retail operations
  • Contractual format and In-house type
  • Collaborative efforts without proper licensing aids

The effectiveness of Open Source economics can be understood by the fact that it has largely contributed towards the development of web 2.0 generation, enabling testimony to the verity that it is much more beyond software and technology.

The addition of value is the key prerequisite for an economic models to be able to sustain over a period of time. Hence, for an Open Source business model to be successful, the most important factor is its ability to deliver value to businesses, contributors and consumers.

The Open Source movement is here to stay for long. It has acted as a serious value creator and resulted in revenue generation mechanisms for businesses, both – small and big.

10 Myths of Free & Open Source Software

It does not require immense general knowledge to know that all those things that have been successful irrespective of their fields have had lots of myths attached to them. FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) being one of them and it is the responsibility of people like you and me to make others know that these logics are just plain and jane myths and nothing more than that. I feel honored to enlist few of the top myths we have in the society regarding FOSS:

  1. FOSS is 2nd Best: Presently the myth is not at all true as applications like Firefox and OpenOffice.org are equally competent than their proprietary software counterparts. But there are areas like OCR Scanning where functionality and usability still has a larger scope to move to perfection.
  2. FOSS is just for developers: Contrary to common belief, FOSS is not just for its developers, users and their founders. But in recent times there has been a plethora of opportunities for technical writers and other category of users to develop their expertise in the highly rewarding FOSS community.
  3. FOSS is devoid of support: The enhanced feature of codes being available to everyone actually increases the chance of getting software support. For example,Red Hat earns huge profits by offering support solutions to enterprises.
  4. FOSS is monotonous: Initial attempts of FOSS trying to copy and offer monotonous software has been completely replaced these days. FOSS now has revolutionized its business operations in entirety by being able to market its services domain in equality with the software domain.
  5. FOSS is not free at all: By contrast, there is just a FOSS license which has to be purchased and the result is an individual’s decision to use FOSS as and when he likes. Two types of licenses which can be used are BSD style licenses which are very permissive in nature and Copyleft licenses which are very restrictive in nature.
  6. FOSS requires money: FOSS is absolutely free and open source supporters’ infact have a long term relation as the availability of code and generation of ideas by interacting with the community serves as a major advantage to them.
  7. FOSS has lesser security: People perceive that things which are hidden are safe. But, in FOSS, the focus is more on the protection of information than the methodology used to implement it. Several codes are made and rectified in the public and it thus increases the knowledge of all the users worldwide.
  8. FOSS works just for small projects: The truth is that FOSS has projects ranging from medium to large scale and a few examples of it are GIMP, Xfce desktops, Ubuntu, etc.
  9. FOSS is only for software: After initial hiccups, FOSS has started manufacturing 3-D games, though it continues to be 2nd best because of the unavailability of free 3-D video drivers. Nowadays, several online games support Linux/GNU clients as well.
  10. FOSS costs nothing and does no good: The availability and shipping of FOSS actually costs nothing and is thus perceived to be not of superior quality. But, it being an exception has falsified the fact and thus presented a new business logic which says that “Free can be good too”.