Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Proprietary Software Goes Open Source

As I have never before heard of Xara (I'm not big on the graphics scene...yet), I cannot speculate about the kind of impact this news will have. However, I was excited, and am eagerly anticipating the release of the GPL'd Xara Xtreme. To read about any company voluntarily GPL'ing proprietary software, especially software that had been developed exclusively for MS Windows, is warms your heart! This event is especially significant if Xara is truly as much of a force in computer graphics as it seems to think .

This news got me thinking: Just how much does the average Windows user know about open source software? The concept seems to have the largest following among computer hobbyists and professionals, as they would be the only ones able to glean anything from a look at the source code. Most of the more popular software available for operating systems such as Linux or FreeBSD is open source as well, but these OS's tend to draw the same crowd of hobbyists and professionals. However, a great deal of open source software is available for multiple platforms making it much easier to locate a port for your Windows box.

In future posts, I'm hoping to write a brief guide on using open source software to take care of common tasks in Windows. I think some of my imaginary readers might find it useful.