Like Visio, Dia is great for creating network diagrams, flowcharts, org charts and other simple relational graphics. It can save files in XML format or export to EPS, SVG, XFIG, WMF or PNG files. Operating System: Windows, Linux
The "GNU Image Manipulation Program," lets you manipulate photographs much like you can with Photoshop. Features include a full suite of painting tools, sub-pixel sampling, full alpha channel support, layers and channels, advanced tool path, quick mask and much more. For the Windows version, you'll need to download Gimp-win. Operating System: Windows, Linux
This vector graphics program is powerful enough to meet the needs of professionals with many advanced SVG features (markers, clones, alpha blending, etc.) But it also offers a simple interface that makes it easy for novices to get started creating their own graphics or manipulating the free clip art available through the site. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X
PaintNet isn't quite as as powerful as Photoshop and The Gimp, but it's also not as complicated to use. It handles most photo-editing and re-touching tasks easily and supports layers, unlimited undo, special effects and many other features. Operating System: Windows
OpenOffice.org combines a word processor, spreadsheet, database and a graphics program with all of the features most people need. It also reads and saves in Microsoft Office formats, so no one will ever know you're not using Microsoft software. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X
This office suite from KDE is very easy to learn, and it's easy to customize the interface so that it looks and feels just the way you want. It combines apps for word processing/desktop publishing (KWord), spreadsheets (KSpread), presentations (KPresenter), database (Kexi), project planning (KPlato), flowcharts (Kivio), vector drawing (Karbon) and photo editing (Krita). Operating System: Windows, Linux
The NeoOffice team took OpenOffice.org and customized it for the Mac. As a result, it's faster and more stable and includes features like native OS X text highlighting. It's also available in mobile versions for the iPad, iPod, and iPhone. Operating System: OS X, iOS
If you're nervous about using open-source software because you think you'll need tech support, Oracle OpenOffice (formerly StarOffice) might be for you. It's almost exactly the same as OpenOffice.org, but with professional support from Oracle. Licenses start at $49.95 per user. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X
Designed primarily for enterprise users, Red Hat aims to give IT administrators maximum flexibility. One-year subscriptions with basic support start at $80 for the desktop version, or try Fedora for a nearly identical non-supported, free version.
Like Red Hat, Novel makes SUSE primarily for enterprise customers, with support licenses starting at $50 for the basic desktop version. But you can get a similar program for free (without the support) from openSUSE.
One of the most user-friendly Linux variants, Ubuntu is particularly popular with home desktop users and netbook owners. The latest version offers new mobile syncing, communication and social networking features that suit the way people use their computers today.
Debian and Ubuntu are fairly similar; however, Debian has the reputation of catering to people who are more knowledgeable about Linux. It's supported by an active community, and it gives users a lot of control and flexibility.
As the name suggests, this app lets you create PDFs from any printable filewithout buying any software from Adobe. It even includes advanced capabilities like encryption, digital signatures and PDF/A files for long-term archives. Operating System: Windows
With nearly 10,000 installations per month, Java-based Openbravo POS is very popular with all types of retailers. It provides sales, refunds, daily reports, cash management, warehouse management and other capabilities, including a special restaurant module for tracking reservations and tables. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X
This POS system for medium, small or micro businesses offers a simple, customizable interface, role-based permissions, reporting and inventory control. Because it stores data in a MySQL database, youll also need MySQL in order to use the app. Operating System: Linux
One of the ways around the issues of security and control that make some businesses wary of cloud computing is to build a private cloud -- one that remains within the corporate firewall and is wholly controlled internally. Private clouds also increase the agility of IT an organization's IT infrastructure and make it easier to roll out new technology projects. Download this eBook to get the facts behind the private cloud and learn how your organization can get started.