Chances are that you landed on this page because, like the rest of the world, you got really tired of paying for software "upgrades" that were no better than the version you were already using—and sometimes even worse. But, you're better than the rest of the world, because you are doing something about it right now: you are here, where you will find out how you can easily—and legally—circumvent the software monopolies' hold over you and everyone else.
Whether you are an end-user with a desktop in your basement or an institutional decision-maker looking to make a simple and effective change that will save your organization tons of money and get you noticed by the boss, you have come to the right place. So, without further delay, here are The Top 10 Reasons Why You Should NEVER Again Pay for Software:
FLOSS is short for Free Libre Open Source Software. It is an operating system and series of free software that anyone can access and use on any computer at any time. It offers numerous specific advantages over paid software (enumerated below), which make it superior to paid software in every way.
Paid software is developed, owned, and sold by software companies that, together have formed a collective monopoly, wherein they trap their customers into paying for software and upgrades that are inherently less good products than the FLOSS versions (enumerated below).
FLOSS is free.
Floss is free and will ALWAYS be free. FLOSS was developed by and is maintained by a community of developers world-wide who share a devotion to making FLOSS the best that it can be for everyone. There is no company behind FLOSS and no single person or group of people. The network of FLOSS developers independently and selflessly donate their time to FLOSS. This network is continually expanding, so if any of them ever retire or slow down, there are plenty more available to carry the mantel forward, and this is why it is free and always will be.
Paid software, on the other hand, is designed to generate as much income as possible for the company that produced it. There are two common ways that the software companies do this, and I suspect that you have been subjected to both.
Resale of software: Another thing to know about paid software is that once you buy it, you can never sell or share it. Think about how unfair that is for just a moment: that's like saying that you can't sell your old book at your own garage sale or even loan it to a friend. Contrast that with FLOSS, which not only allows sharing and selling it but which makes the permission for doing so official under the GPL (General Public License).
FLOSS is secure.
FLOSS has a fraction of the security problems that paid software has. So many fewer in fact, that antivirus software is completely unnecessary. Just think of the money that alone will save, not to mention the headaches it will save by not having to install antivirus software which seems to recurrently conflict with other existing software.
Contrast this to Windows, which has so many security flaws that you not only need an antivirus program, but you probably need to pay for an extra firewall, as well. Even in spite of having extensive resources at its disposal to prevent hacker threats, Microsoft itself chooses to host its own software on Linux (FLOSS' operating system kernel), rather than Windows. I am not making this up. However, speaking of making things up, Microsoft loves to propagate the rumor that the only reason there are so many viruses targeted at Microsoft's products is that Windows is so popular. Let's set the record straight: Microsoft's products have been historically so insecure that they practically invite hackers and malware developers to create viruses and other malware specifically targeted at them to penetrate their transparent protective layers. Did someone say, "Internet Explorer?" I'd love to go on and on about that catastrophe, but it would expand this piece by a factor of 10 or so. Instead, let me tell you the story of Cortana.
Cortana is Microsoft’s privacy invasion and ad platform personalization software, which is released with Windows 10. Cortana allowed anyone with brief physical access to a logged-off computer to command Cortana to execute programs that copy any files to a flash drive, and the computer’s owners would never know that the files were stolen. Although numerous users informed Microsoft of this serious security problem shortly after the July 29, 2015 release of Windows 10, it took Microsoft until Jun 12, 2018, to fix it. Yes, three years.
FLOSS sets the standard for phenomenally secure free software, and it is ALWAYS safe and will never pose a threat to your machine, your privacy, or your data. Once again, this is because it is developed and used by high-level programmers worldwide who are committed to a highly secure environment for all who chose to use FLOSS. This is not true for the majority of other free software that you might encounter on the web, much of which is malware that is designed to trick you into downloading it so that it can steal information from your computer or harm you in other ways. In fact, aside from bonafide FLOSS, you should never download free software UNLESS it is under the direction of someone who really knows what they are doing and who is guiding you through the process in person and in real-time.
FLOSS Upgrades are actually, you know, upgrades.
FLOSS upgrades: Here's a crazy idea for you: FLOSS upgrades are actually improvements over the previous version. By this, I mean that new features and new customizability are added that are better than the old ones. In fact, FLOSS won't issue an upgrade unless there is a significant change in the software that merits a new release. And when it does so, it never compels users to download or use the upgrade. They can continue to use the older version as long as they wish.
Paid software upgrades: Contrast FLOSS upgrades to paid software in which upgrades are more like sidegrades. Or worse yet, they sometimes remove features that we liked and relied upon. irrespective of the quality that it delivers to consumers. The paid software model is centered around the idea that these monopolistic companies need to keep generating revenue to keep their profits up. This means that they need to release upgrades every few years and charge customers for these upgrades. But here's the catch: often, they don’t have significant improvements to offer, so they just make the software look different without making any improvements. The evolution of Windows is a prime example.
The evolution of Windows from XP to Vista to 7 to 8 to 8.1 to 10 has been nothing short of a disaster. Updated versions of Windows since XP have looked different each time, but only because Microsoft had to create the illusion that they were providing an upgrade, when in fact they were not offering any actual user improvements—they were merely playing catch-up with all of their security flaws. In other words, the most significant improvements in windows following the release of XP have been in security. Had Microsoft released Windows Vista and Windows 7, leaving them similar in appearance to Windows XP, no one would have paid for them because they would have thought they were getting an UPDATE (which actually was true), rather than an UPGRADE. SO, Microsoft was forced to make it look different, just so that Microsoft could collect money for it. Because Windows XP was already a great user interface, any change in appearance was doomed to be worse. And guesses what? Microsoft opted for just that: Selling its customers a "new" version of Windows (Windows Vista, then 7, then 8, then 10) each of which was different in appearance and more difficult for users to learn and use and none of which offered improvements other than improved security—which SHOULD have been provided for free. Nope, instead, Microsoft labeled each new version as an "Upgrade" and charged good money. No wonder so many people waited so long to let go of Windows XP. Can't you just imagine the Board of Directors at Microsoft sitting around their Board Room lamenting over Windows XP and all agreeing that they will never again make a product as good as Windows XP because it was so good that people wouldn’t let go of it to buy a newer version. Now, everything is fine again because all of the versions since XP have been so flawed that customers are now driven to buy each new update in the hope that it will be better than the last version.
Productivity: Let's not forget that each time there is a forced change in the user interface, the users have to learn it—and this takes time, which costs businesses money. FLOSS does the exact opposite of paid software: it keeps the appearance the same with each upgrade, adding only new features. For FLOSS, the user interface never changes—unless the user wants it to.
FLOSS user interface (the part you see and use) is simple and intuitive.
FLOSS looks a lot like Windows XP, which is arguably the most popular interface that Microsoft ever developed because it was so easy for everyone to learn and use.
FLOSS won't change unless you decide that you want your version of FLOSS to look differently. So if you have any trepidation about the ease of learning a new system—which undoubtedly could have been indoctrinated through Microsoft's imposing just that upon its customers every few years, don’t worry in the case of FLOSS, as when you start using FLOSS, it will be like visiting an old friend.
FLOSS can be extensively customized, allowing greater productivity.
FLOSS has extensive options for customizable features and tools, including whether the tools are even in view or not. The user can customize how various parts of each program work.
If FLOSS users want a feature that is currently not available, FLOSS users can submit suggestions for improvements and utilities which will be adapted to FLOSS and will become available for all users, for free. By implementing such changes, those who use it increase in their productivity.
Just try doing that with Microsoft, Apple, QuickBooks, or any paid software and see how far you get. Have you ever noticed that they have no section on their websites asking for suggestions for improvement? Of course not. If they had such a section, there would be some expectation that they would actually listen to their customers, and there is no reason for them to create this illusion, especially as they have no such intention.
FLOSS offers a free version of pretty much every software.
FLOSS users will have immediate access to a wide variety of free software programs that will be able to replace nearly any software that they are currently using—for free.
If the FLOSS user wants to continue to use their paid software for any reason, they may do so. FLOSS does not cut the end-user off from using paid software and they may continue to use it if they desire.
Wine is a special feature of FLOSS that enables users to use existing software within the FLOSS operating system for the few cases in which there is not yet a FLOSS version
FLOSS comes in a wide variety of Distros.
Linux comes in all sorts of "distros" ( short for distributions) which are different configurations of Linux. You get to pick which one you want to use. I recommend picking Linux Mint Cinnamon because it has the look and feel of Windows XP.
You can find a comparison of the distros at the slant.co website.
You can download your distro from the slant.co website.
FLOSS is easy to install.
All you need to do is
Download Linux (I recommend Linux Mint Cinnamon, which has the same feel of simplicity combined with functionality as Windows XP). FLOSS downloads are on the website of each Linux Distro. One should avoid downloading a Linux ISO image from any other place than its official website because it may be outdated or tainted with malware
Create a bootable CD, DVD, or flash drive of that download and place it in the drive of your computer.
Reboot your computer.
Press computer-specific F-keys to boot from the CD/DVD/Flash drive.
Step-by-step instructions based on your machine are also available at How-To Geek.
FLOSS support is available at Linux Forums and at AskUbuntu.
Thanks for staying with me on this journey…and now that you are convinced that FLOSS is the only way to go, let me leave you with one final thought…