What is Free Software?
Free software gives you the freedom to copy, share, modify, or give it away to anyone you would like. For the individual or business owner who needs a variety of software, this is an ideal product.
Why is the software free?
There is a large group of skilled programmers from around the world who believe in the idea of creating software and giving it to anyone that agrees with their philosophy of providing free software and sharing it with other people. This idea was started in the early 1980s by an expert in computers named Richard Stallman. In the mid 1980s he started the Free Software Movement and it continues today stronger than ever.
Free software, also known as open source software is obtainable for almost any job you need to perform. There are thousands of software programs free of charge. Computer users, businesses, and organizations around the world are using free software for pleasure and to run entire operations. The free software today is far superior to what was available just a few years back.
How does open source free software compare to commercial software?
Like everything else, some free software is not as good as its commercial equivalent. However, in some areas, free software is far superior.
Commercial software may not be copied, sold, or given away without possible legal consequences. Open source or free software may be legally copied, modified and given away to anyone you wish without the risk of legal problems.
Commercial software installation is usually limited to 1 or 2 computers.
Free software may be installed on as many computers as you like.
Computers manage and organize a great deal of our private information and day-to-day actions. Often the companies who create commercial software will record your activities on your computer through spyware. Not always, but in many cases commercial software presents a risk to your privacy and others. True free software has no such spyware nor will it record any of your behavior on a computer.
If you need a specific program to perform a task or to complete a project, free software is the obvious choice because of its value and privacy it offers. Every month there are more and more programs being developed that are free for you to use.
The free software movement has developed into an organization and culture that shares information in a manner that people all over the world can expand on and benefit from.