10 Open Source Alternatives For Small Business Software

Tony Bradley | PCWorld | August 26, 2013

You can’t run a business—even a small one—without technology. You need computers, smartphones, file storage, a website, and a whole host of other tech assets. So how do you afford it all with a budget that’s tighter than a hipster’s jeans?

Sure, some costs simply can’t be avoided, but you can get the tools you need without maxing your credit line. One of the easiest ways is to swap out expensive commercial software for open-source alternatives. The open-source community offers an array of programs that deliver professional-grade features without the big-business price tag.

To point you in the right direction, we rounded up free alternatives for the most common software used by small and medium businesses. If you replace your current commercial software products with these open-source equivalents, you can save nearly $2,000 per user. We can hear you breathing easier already...

Open Health News' Take: 

This is a good list of open source applications. I personally use LibreOffice and have enjoyed it after migrating from OpenOffice beforehand. 

However, I disagree with two of the selections noted by the author.  First is TurboCASH since it only runs on Microsoft Windows application and would suggest GNUCash instead with is truly cross platform.  Second is 7-Zip which is just a Microsoft Windows GUI when most archiving/compression programs are command line oriented in general (e.g., bzip2, gzip).  My personal perspective is that though both might be Open Source in nature, they are not cross platform for one to have "freedom of choice" (or "Libre software").

I would also suggest GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) in addition to Dia noted by the author.  Both applications have similar functionality and similar targeted use.  It is just a matter of preference of course to the end user.

Crawford Rainwater, Blogger@Open Health News and CEO & President, The Linux ETC Company