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I use Windows... how can I move to free software?

by Matt Lee Contributions Published on Jun 24, 2010 12:19 PM
You can install free software applications on your Windows machine and use them instead of proprietary software from Microsoft and others.

Audio and video

  • Audacity is a free software audio editor featuring a wide variety of filters, plugins, and codecs.
  • OBS is a widely used and fully free software tool for video recording and live streaming.
  • VLC and mpv both replace iTunes and Windows Media Player, and support an enormous variety of different file formats and encodings.

Chat clients

  • Pidgin is an all-in-one free software instant messaging client, supporting the protocols used by Windows Live, Jabber, ICQ, IRC, XMPP, and more.
  • Riot is a decentralized chat client providing an easy and ethical replacement for apps like Discord.

Email

  • Thunderbird is a free software mail reader that replaces Outlook Express or Windows Live Mail.

File-sharing

  • Transmission and qBitTorrent are two clients for the popular BitTorrent file-sharing protocol, and replace spyware like uTorrent.

Games

  • 0 A.D. is a real-time strategy game blending historical accuracy with advanced 3D graphics, and is fully free software.
  • Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup is a popular "roguelike" role-playing game, sending players into an always different, randomly generated dungeon for treasure-hunting and exploration.
  • OpenTTD is a free software transportation simulation game, based on other popular railway and transportation simulators.

Graphics

  • Blender is a fully free 3D graphics editor, supplanting nonfree programs like Maya.
  • The GIMP is a full-featured and ethical replacement for Adobe Photoshop.
  • Inkscape is a vector graphics editor that offers an ethical replacement for Adobe Illustrator.
  • Krita replaces Microsoft Paint and other raster graphics editors.

In the office

  • Calibre is a free software tool for managing your ebook library, and is additionally able to convert to and from many different ebook formats.
  • LibreOffice replaces all of the tools comprising the Microsoft Office suite, allowing you to create documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and more.

Programming

  • GNU Emacs is the real-time, self-documenting text editor, providing an advanced and ethical replacement for nonfree programming editors like Sublime Text.

System utilities

  • 7-Zip is an easy-to-use tool for handling compressing and extracting file archives in formats like 7z, ZIP, and GZIP.
  • ClamWin is a free software antivirus for use on Microsoft Windows, replacing nonfree and costly alternatives like Norton Antivirus.
  • TestDisk is a free software tool for data recovery, and is able to restore lost drive partitions and accidentally overwritten files.

More free software…

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