Open Source Projects: 15 To Watch: Page 4

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9) Virtual Box
Virtual Box maintains an overall feel to that of Parallels, and this provides for a level of familiarity should the end user consider making the switch to the open source option.

Virtual Box offers a complete solution for running a virtual PC within their host operating system. This can prove to be a fantastic way to try out new operating systems, testing out beta releases or simply keeping your hands on any legacy software that you cannot currently run from within the host OS.

Reasons to watch this open source project: Cost – it's free to utilize. Also, the fact that Virtual Box honestly provides a GPL friendly alternative to the other virtualization options out there. It’s frequently updated and they appear to have the user's hearts in mind with each release. Designed for OS X, Linux and Windows.

10) Automatix
This application alone gave Ubuntu a huge shot in the arm with regard to usability back when Ubuntu Dapper was still plugging along in competition with other distros. But since this made drivers and codecs a snap to install, this became a “must have” application for a number of Debian variants.

Access codecs and other patented property can be blocked by the end user should they choose to not have access to these items. But truth be known, even here in the U.S., this is where most Ubuntu users are reaching out for access to the restricted codecs and other patented property.

Reasons to watch this open source project: Taking the virtual “buggy by the reigns,” Automatix has already begun to show their interest in adding proprietary software distribution along with the open source options they already provide. To some limited extent, I see them taking on Linspire's CNR directly in the coming months. Designed for Linux only.

11) Envy
Envy is a video driver installation utility that helped to take the pain out of installing NVIDIA and ATI drivers for thousands of Ubuntu and Debian users alike. Always under constant development, the creator of this project has been able to provide a real model of open source software efficiency.

To me, what stood out the most was the level of support the creator of this utility offers. It's almost beyond comprehension how much time he has invested in helping people get their video card issues straightened out.

Reasons to watch this open source project: Utilities like Envy, quite frankly, make or break Linux adoption for the new user. And because of the success rate that people have had with Envy instead of using Ubuntu's Feisty restricted option, which has a mixed success rate, new users will be giving the Linux platform a second chance – all thanks to Envy.


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