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What does Windows 2000, XP and Vista have in common?

What does Windows 2000, XP and Vista have in common?

They don’t ship with a decent word processor, never mind office suit.

Fortunately that does not have to be a bad thing. Thanks to the efforts of the OpenSource community we have choices. One of them is OpenOffice. This suit can read and write MS Office files and actually includes a bit more.

How much does it cost?

This is the fun thing. Thanks to the different philosophy of OpenSource you don’t have to pay anything. That’s right, it’s available for free. OpenSource developers make money on after sales efforts like support, training and modifications. Sometimes OpenSource applications and Operating Systems, are simply a facilitator to enable other products and or services.

Here you can read the OpenOffice license. It is only slightly different than the General Purpose License (GPL) that Linux follows, and is intended for certain software libraries. But the idea is the same. The freedom to use it the way you see fit.

Fortunately for us, OpenSource is usually good enough to be used even in enterprises, where downtime is not acceptable. You can read about efforts from companies like IBM, HP, Novell, RedHat & Google, just to mention a few, whom have poured their expertise into supporting and furthering what they see as the next great thing after sliced bread.

Unlike commercial software, the openness of OpenSource allows anyone and everyone to see the code and modify it as they see fit. Bugs can be noticed by anyone and fixed without the the threat of lawsuit. An organization can find an OpenSource application that is close to their needs and modify it as needed. As long as those modifications are kept “in-house” you don’t even have to share them. It’s only when you distribute modified OpenSource code outside your own organization that you have to license your altered code under the GPL.

This user have been using it since it’s early days and have never looked back.

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