For a long time now I have used open source software where ever possible in favour of the commercial alternatives. One of the main reasons for this is to save costs of expensive licenses but increasingly recently I am finding myself use more and more open source packages because I actually prefer the functionality that some of the products give me. For example. take a look at the number of extensions you can get now for Firefox and Thunderbird (to name two).
Among the list of products I use are:
- Mozilla Firefox
- Mozilla Thunderbird
- Eclipse IDE
- Open Office 2.0
- Filezilla (Client and Server)
- Various Apache Projects
My most recent addition to this list is GNUPg for Windows to enable me to sign and/or encrypt emails as well as a number of other clever functions like signing and encrypting both the clipboard and files. Through the use of Enigmail for Thunderbird, use of my PGP keys are almost seamless. Compared to the commercial version of PGP now available, I would have said that functionally it is more or less as good. Its certainly suitable for everything that I need it for. I have made my public key available (see the link on the right) if anyone wants to send me an email.
MORAL: The moral of this story is that if you aren't already using open source software for a lot if not most of your common applications, take a look, you really don't know what you are missing.