I have always been a fan of “almost free” software. Most of the news focuses on the inroads made by the server software, Linux, Apache, Mysql, and Perl/PHP/Python. Recently I have been surprised to find out that I am using primarily “free” software throughout the day and it is client software rather than server software. Up until two years ago I would always read Anchordesk for the reviews on some of latest “free” software. At this moment I am using WordPress via the Firefox browser. I use Firefox and Internet Explorer and consider both of them “almost free”. I occasionally use Tortoisecvs to update the WordPress files and Jedit to edit the files. WordPress on the other hand uses the opensource software, Mysql and PHP to do most of the heavy lifting. Rssbandit, my favorite news aggregator, also is sourceforge software. I use Pdfcreator to create Pdf files, Eraser to permanently erase files, bloggar to post to my weblogs, Filezilla as my ftp client, etc.
Don’t get me wrong, I still use commercial software but I do not live in Microsoft Office like some people. I use Outlook daily but the other programs I use occasionally. I have Dreamweaver but I find myself using Jedit more often for the quick edits since it does a nice job displaying PHP, CSS, and HTML code. I use Quicken and QuickBooks daily but I am in and out pretty quickly. Norton Anti-Virus runs all the time but I do not interact with it. What I have found is that I have stretched my upgrade cycle for all of the commercial programs I do not use daily. The more features you can find and use in opensource software the less you upgrade. Commercial software providers have had this problem for a long time. I think if my usage is a good indicator of the public then it has become a major problem.