Marketing challenged though they may be, the Open Source groups make great software. Another good roundup of Free Open Source Software came from Linuxworld last month. Sorry to take so long to get the news to you, but here it is.
Some of the choices are the usual suspects, like the Open Office productivity suite that does about 98 percent of that Microsoft Office 2007 does (except for saving documents in formats no one else can read). Firefox, the browser that keeps taking larger chunks of the market from Internet Explorer, is another great entry in the Open Source success folder.
I predict few readers will know about half the ten programs mentioned. You know how your company wants to provide full disk encryption for all the laptops, but paying $200 each makes your manager sick? Check out TrueCrypt and encrypt all or part of your laptop disk for free, absolutely free.
Want another anti-virus tool to backstop what you're using now? Got one. Better file zip with more controls than you expect? Got one. Better media player without all the rights hassles and awkwardness of MS Media Player? Got one.
Take a look, try some free software, and see if you like something. You will. Then, next time someone in your company says free software doesn't work because socialists can't make software, laugh at them very loudly. And keep them away from your IT budget.