But actually, not really. Open source developers have the freedom in fact, enjoy the freedom to develop for any OS, including Windows. Many of the downloads on this list are available for both Linux and Windows (and Mac, too, while were at it). The open source Firefox, for instance, is a model of cross-platform promiscuity, at home in the universe of Linus Torvalds, Bill Gates, or Steve Jobs. Pretty wild, when you think about it.
In fact, if you do some real deep thinking (and we recommend you do), youll realize this list is a signpost for the future. In the years ahead, the boundary that contained open source will continue to dissolve. As open source apps are increasingly used by Windows and Apple platforms, the concept of open source will keep on evolving from its niche status to a leading (dare we say, dominant?) concept. Its been a long time a-comin.
Here then, are the apps that are leading the charge. Browse the full list (it starts below) or jump right to a given area:
1. BlenderBlender provides a highly advanced set of tools for rigging, animating, shading, modeling, and rendering 3D animations. Its so powerful that its even been used by animators working on blockbuster Hollywood films. Tons of help and support are available, and the user community is very active.
2. Art of Illusion Another alternative for 3D animation is Art of Illusion. This Java-based program doesnt offer nearly as many features as Blender, but has a simpler interface that may be easier for beginners to handle.
3. AudacityThis cross-platform sound recorder and editor let you record up to 16 channels at once, import and export a variety of audio file formats, edit with unlimited undo, add special effects, and more. Its available in more than 20 languages.
4. Juice Juice receives and saves podcasts so that you can listen to them at your leisure. It supports most media players, and its been downloaded more than 2.5 million times.
5. Frinika Frinika is a java-based music workstation that allows you to record and edit sound, add special effect, and mix in synthesizer sounds and drum beats. Unlike many other sound editors, Frinika lets you do everything from your existing PC without the need for extra hardware or equipment.
6. Aqualung Aqualung plays audio CDs, internet radio streams, podcasts, and nearly every audio file format in use. It also offers the unique option of eliminating sound gaps between adjacent tracks.
7. DrumTrack Turn your PC into a drum machine. DrumTrack allows you to create and record your own drum score, including incorporating samples from nearly any audio file type. One note of caution: this app is aimed at hobbyists, not professionals.