Windows is undoubtedly the most popular operating system for most users out there. But unlike Linux, Windows isn’t open source. (You have to pay some amount for its license activation) There are various open-source apps available for the Windows platform.
Being open-source ensures its source code is available to everyone to modify & distribute, with better development. Better development ensures stability & reliability. This open-source nature of any software not only makes it reliable but also cheap. (Free in most cases) Software from Adobe & various companies required you to pay a hefty amount to use them. But if you can switch to the open-source alternatives of that software, you can also save some bucks.
However not every open-source software alternative can replicate the full functionality of a paid/subscription-based software. They have their caveats, which you can overlook depending on the kind of work you do.
Here are some of the best open source softwares alternatives for popular windows software.
Best open-source softwares alternative for windows!
Firefox is one of the most popular open-source web browsers developed by the Mozilla Foundation. It’s not only open source but also full of addons to give extra functionality & enhance the user experience. Mozilla recently released an update in the form of Firefox Quantum which is to make it more intuitive & fast. Firefox was initially developed to challenge the dominance of Windows’ default browser ‘Internet Explorer’.
2. Chromium (Chrome Alternative)
If you are someone who can’t ditch Google’s Chrome browser but want to be a part of an Open-source environment. Chromium is something you should check. Chromium is an open-source browser-based on Google’s Chrome browser, with almost all features that you can find on the regular Chrome.
However, there are few limitations; you have to update this browser manually. There is no support for playing proprietary media formats, limited extension support, no flash support & can’t send bug reports. But on the plus side, it doesn’t collect user data for tracking as regular Chrome does.
B. Office suite
1. Open Office (Microsoft Office Alternative)
Open Office (or Apache’s Open Office) is one of the most popular Microsoft Office’s alternative & is widely used by users around the world. If you are not into the typical Microsoft Office environment, you can pretty much rely on Open Office to fulfill your related needs. Open Office is available on almost all major platforms. Its suite has a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation editor, etc., in its suite. But in comparison to the Microsoft Office, it’s the user interface that is less intuitive & also, lacks features.
C. Video player
1. VLC Media Player
VLC Media Player needs no introduction. But if you are still unaware of VLC Player, It’s a popular open-source media player that can play most media formats effortlessly. You can also stream media via the VLC player. It can be used to convert media files. VLC player is an all in one media player
D. Audio editor and recorder
If you want a software to record or edit your audio, Audacity is the one-stop open source software for you. Audacity lets you record, edit, stream your audio from the software itself. You can add effects, change frequencies & export files in the desired audio format with it. It’s lightweight & works on all major software platforms.
E. Text editor
Notepad++ is an open-source text & source code editor for the Windows platform. It’s feature-rich & does over a lot over a traditional windows notepad. It supports the autosave function. Lets you open multi-tabs in a window & support for macros/plugins do makes it a must-have Notepad on your Windows machine
F. Image editor
1. GIMP (Adobe Photoshop Alternative)
GIMP is a popular open-source photo editing & manipulation tool. Even if it’s free, it packs in a lot & can satisfy your basic to moderate photo editing needs. It supports all popular image formats & it can also read/edit .psd files of Photoshop. But the best thing is that unlike Photoshop, it can easily run on low spec hardware.
G. Video editor
- Shotcut (Adobe Premiere Pro Alternative)
Shotcut is a basic video editing tool, which can be used as an open-source replacement for Adobe Premiere Pro. This editor supports all the latest audio/video format, with native timeline editing, various audio/video effects & supports up to 4K editing.
Shotcut may not be as functional as Adobe Premiere Pro, but it can handle moderate editing needs to give professional look on your videos for Youtube, etc.,
H. Vector graphics editor
1. Inkscape (Adobe Illustrator Alternative)
Inkscape is an open-source vector graphics editor program & is a direct rival to Adobe’s Illustrator. This software can pretty much do everything that you can do with the pricey Adobe Illustration. However, there are a few limitations like it can’t handle JPEG files well, which can be made possible via plugin. If you don’t want to spend your money on Illustrator’s subscription, then you’ll love Inkscape.
I. Video converter.
Handbrake is a popular & powerful open-source video transcoder tool, which converts any video from any format to your desired modern video format. This tool is one of a kind tool, which is best at its job of video transcoding.
J. Screenshot tool
1. Greenshot (Replaces default Windows snipping tool)
Greenshot is a free screenshot talking utility for your windows machines. Since the default screenshot function is very much limited. Greenshot offers a variety of features to take screenshots, edit them & share on social media or save them on your computer. It comes with an editor, where you can add various effects & markup before saving/sharing your screenshot.
K. Torrent downloader
1. BiglyBT (µTorrent Alternative)
If you are using torrent clients like µTorrent, you should immediately switch to BiglyBT, whether you want to go open source or not. BiglyBT is a feature-rich open-source BitTorrent client that can handle your torrenting needs very well. BiglyBt comes with features such as swarm discoveries, remote controlling via an Android app, DLnA support, etc.,
Wrapping up: best open source softwares alternatives for Windows!
This list of open source software consists of the most popular & feature-rich alternatives since we don’t want you to skip on features. Which open source softwares alternative for windows do you use in your workflow, do let us know via a comment?