Open Source (Desktop) Applications on Windows

A couple of weeks ago I ran across this article that listed 10 applications identified as “the best open source software for Windows”.

While Windows is not my desktop OS of choice, it is the desktop operating system of choice for my employer and I use a number of Open Source applications on my corporate laptop. I thought it might be interesting to see how the author’s choices matched up with the applications that I use ever day on my corporate laptop.

Below is the list of the applications from the referenced article with a bit of commentary about my use (or lack thereof) of the application.

  • Filezilla: Yes — But I find myself using WinSCP instead of Filezilla.
  • VirtualBox: Yes — But I also use VMware Player.
  • Open Office: Yes — In conjunction with Microsoft Office.
  • Firefox: Yes — Firefox is my primary browser.
  • No — I’ve installed GIMP instead.
  • Media Player Classic: No — I’ve installed VLC instead.
  • TrueCrypt: Yes — I use it and love it.
  • PDF Creator: Yes — I find it a bit more stable than CutePDF.
  • 7-Zip: Yes
  • ClamWin: No — A commercial anti-virus package is provided with the laptop.

So I’d score that a either a hit on 6 or 7 out of the possible 10 applications.

Leaving development tools aside, my additions to the list (in no particular order) are the following:

  • Cygwin
  • GIMP
  • Komodo Edit
  • WinSCP
  • Putty
  • VLC
  • Google Chrome
  • Pidgin

Using Open Source applications can definitely improve the user experience on Windows.