Which open source software is right for your business?

2. LibreOffice
Perhaps the easiest switch any business can make is moving to LibreOffice, the free office productivity suite developed by the document foundation. Versions are available for Windows and Mac, and is included as standard in many Linux distributions, including Ubuntu.

While older versions were plagued with bugs, LibreOffice has matured into a sophisticated, fully featured suite of software, with all the tools that businesses need, so if you’ve had a poor user experience in the past, it may be time to take another look.

It can read, edit and save all of the Microsoft Office file formats, as well as a multitude of others, and with more and more organisations moving to Open Document Format (ODF) by default, this is likely to be even less of an issue in the future.

3. GIMPshop
Adobe Photoshop is synonymous with image editing software to such an extent that it has even become a verb, but there are a huge range of applications that can do most of the same tasks. While Photoshop is undoubtedly the industry standard, most businesses that need to edit images on an occasional basis won’t need even a small fraction of the features included. 

Essentially, this means that the outlay for a licence, or latterly subscription to Adobe’s Creative Cloud, both represent bad value for money.

The GNU Image Manipulation Program, or GIMP, has long been an Open Source alternative to Photoshop, but many moving from Adobe’s platform have found it difficult to get to grips with. Enter GIMPshop, a variation of GIMP, that offers full GIMP functionality but with an interface designed to resemble Adobe Photoshop, allowing you to edit funny pictures of your co-workers without fear that you’re blowing the company’s IT budget. 

Steve Nice is chief technology officer of Reconnix.

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