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Professional Open Source

Many people think that Open Source software is only for the home user. How wrong can they be? Very. I remember many years ago of how many charities and companies started to migrate to the Linux platform, in order to use open source software. The fundamental reason for this was that the software is free and the second reason was that there was not much open source software on the Windows operating system.

Being free software, companies can reduce their overheads and not worry about the licensing restrictions that big companies impose. The big problem with commercial software is that there are so many features making them require higher spec machines. So you're stuck with your existing software or forced to upgrade your PC.

By reading my previous posts you can tell that I am an Open Source advocate. But I really believe (among others) that Open Source software has left the bedroom a long time ago and you can really run a business using Open Source. Just don't forget to make a contribution.

In my current work place, our Contact Relation Management (CRM) system was Maximizer. While this software had a lot of features to perform wonders its performance was not appealing. Just recently, after a lot of research and testing, we migrated to SugarCRM. And, guess what? It's open source and much better than Maximizer.

I use OpenOffice.org all the time for my day to day work, including the production of user guides. To edit photos for the guides and to produce images for the web I even make use of The GIMP. All this is straightforward, while my colleagues are struggling to perform the most simplest of tasks using Microsoft Office and all that jazz.

But the best example of using Open Source software, such as those just mentioned, is John Bintz. Who produced a graphic novel using a combination of the above with Inkscape and Scribus. Visit the Scribus website for more info. This hilarious graphic novel was then published using the Lulu service.

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