Top 20 Open Source Apps for Windows: Page 3

Posted October 11, 2010

Matt Hartley

Matt Hartley

(Page 3 of 3)

15) ClamAV – While blocking malware is something most Linux users put little thought into, the idea of keeping malware off your Windows PC is clearly paramount. One application that I’ve been happy with is ClamAV for Windows. Unlike other traditional anti-viruses, this application uses Cloud-based and community-based malware detection methods. Everything happens in real-time. So if someone in the world using ClamAV becomes infected with something, your computer is made aware of it and the software responds accordingly. This software also provides the usual scheduled scanning, updates, threat removal and other items you’d expect from an anti-virus application.

AVG anti-virus comes to mind for the proprietary option. One of the better anti-virus applications out there, AVG is available both as a freely available program in addition to offering a paid version. The difference between the two is functionality and the lack of a nagging alert to upgrade to the paid version of the software. Like ClamAV, AVG provides a community protection network and uses a protective cloud-based technology to keep users safe from threats. It appears that one must buy the paid edition to take advantage of the latter two features.

16) Clonezilla – Despite not being an application that is installed directly onto your Windows installation, Clonezilla is used to backup file systems of both Linux and Windows users alike. Downloaded and burned onto a CD in an ISO image, Clonezilla provides Windows users with piece of mind by enabling them to take hard drive snapshots and back them up for safe keeping.

The proprietary alternative that comes to mind is Norton Ghost. Offering the same functionality as Clonezilla, Norton Ghost differs in the fact that it’s offering hard disk cloning in addition to incremental and differential backup. This software is also something that can be installed into Windows itself.

17) Ekiga – This softphone application is not merely for those using Linux. No, it's also available to Windows users as well. The neat part about Ekiga is how powerful this video conferencing software truly is. As for the quality it provides, how does HD video and audio grab you? I think for most people, having the option of high quality video and audio in their conference calls is actually quite appealing. For those wanting to place calls or receive calls from landlines, Ekiga works great with many VoIP providers, including getting call-in or call-out accounts. The call-in account is accomplished by providing you a real phone number to use. In both cases, it works very well.

On the proprietary side, the obvious choice is Skype. Like Ekiga, Skype adds video and voice functionality to the VoIP experience. It also mirrors Ekiga with call-in and call-out options for sale, too. The biggest difference between the functionality provided by each application is the inclusion of desktop sharing with Skype. Despite that, Ekiga has better call clarity in my experience.

18) Camstudio - For anyone creating desktop screen capturing tutorials, Camstudio is a wise open source alternative to the more expensive options out there. This application provides both screen captures of what you are doing along with voice capture from your microphone.

The proprietary cousin to this software is called Camtasia Studio. Providing the functionality described above, Camtasia's biggest difference is the expense; it also offers extra editing capabilities.

19) Dia – When it comes to creating diagrams, flow charts and other related concepts, nothing beats Dia for getting the job done on the fly. And because of the way Dia saves content, exporting your work to other software is a snap.

Microsoft Visio is the proprietary alternative to Dia. As for the pricing, it is listed on the Microsoft website for about $250 USD. While some will exclaim that Visio has a smoother work-flow than Dia, I think that for many users the price is rather prohibitive.

20) Wikidpad – There are simply times in your life where having a living wiki on your desktop makes sense. Containing thoughts into a cohesive format means that software like Wikidpad becomes indispensable when trying to make sense of complex ideas in a text format. Designed to feel like a wiki for your desktop, Wikidpad provides you with all of the data sorting and cross-linking functionality one could ever need for a locally installed wiki setup.

For the proprietary option, I’d have to point to Microsoft OneNote. Unlike WikidPad, OneNote is bundled along with other applications in Microsoft Office. This means you’ll be buying the Microsoft Office suite instead of just picking up a copy of OneNote. Functionality is much the same as WikidPad, though the workflow is more or less in line with how Microsoft Office does things.

ALSO SEE: 20 Linux Apps That Make the Desktop Easier

AND: 7 Things You Can Do in KDE, But Not in Windows

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Tags: Linux, Windows, Linux downloads, open source software, Office

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