Businesses, workers have alternatives to mainstream software


Diversity is a trending topic in the workplace now, and it is an important one. I too am interested in diversity. This blog is dedicated to it.


However, the diversity I am writing about is not about getting people of different races and backgrounds in the same organizations and buildings. It is about opening people to the choices of software they can use to accomplish tasks and goals in their professional lives. This is a term I call software diversity.


One of the key focuses of this Website and the purpose of this blog is to introduce and discuss alternative software to the mainstream applications and systems that are used in the business world today. This is important because of the options they offer. They can give businesses, from large corporations to solopreneurs, more flexibility and can help them save costs. Companies also could free themselves from needing to upgrade software and systems when they don’t want to because a software firm has decided to no longer support older versions of the software.


Corporations aren’t the only ones who may find the suggestions in this blog useful. Freelance workers and employees of corporations also may be able to use some of the software covered here.


Alternative software came to my rescue several years ago. I was working as a technical writer for a television manufacturer, not as an employee but as a temporary contractor. Therefore my office was a storage room in a corner somewhere. I was given a computer that had Microsoft Office, but I didn’t have any software to edit the images of TVs and other products or to create diagrams. I also was a low priority to the IT department, so they wouldn’t install any software let alone purchase any, so I was left with Microsoft Paint. This was not even close to being an adequate tool for the job.


My solution was Portable Apps, an organization that takes open-source and freeware software and make them so they can run on a thumb drive or other external memory and run without needing to be installed. I used Gimp and some other  open-source applications to work on images and other artwork for the manuals.


There are many who are in the situation that I was in. They are working as contractors for a company and using a computer that doesn’t have software that can get the job done. My hope is that articles in this blog will help them, as well as corporations and small companies that are looking for other tools to use in their business.


Therefore, software covered in this blog will be alternatives to Microsoft’s offerings and alternatives to other mainstream applications. Many of the applications covered in this blog are cross platform. They work equally well and have the same features regardless of which operating system. They run on Windows, Mac, Linux distros, and maybe other operating systems, such as BSD (Berkeley Software Distribution).


Cross platform software is essential to software diversity. This allows corporations and those they employ to embrace operating systems other than Microsoft Windows but still work with those who use Windows. This blog, in addition to cross-platform software, will have articles that examine different operating systems.


Examples of software are:




        Google’s office suite


Examples of alternative operating systems:


        Mint Linux




I also am interested in real-world case studies. Some of the articles may be based on interviews with corporate leaders and workers who use alternative software and operating systems for business. This includes posts and comments from blog followers. I am interested in your stories.