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'Free' and 'Open'

Free and open-source software (FOSS) or Free/Libre and open-source software (FLOSS) is openly shared source code that is licensed without any restrictions on usage, modification, or distribution.

'Free' versus 'Free'

Confusion abounds around the use of the word 'Free' because free means 'without charge' in common usage but in open-source development, free refers to the freedom to use, study, distribute and modify the software. For example, 'being free to speak' is not the same as 'free beer'.

So it is possible to have software which is free of charge but not open source like Microsoft's Edge browser. It is also possible is get software that is both free of charge and open source.

The following are suggested programs which are both free of charge and open source.

Web Browser

Mozilla Firefox a free, open-source web browser. It is available for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android and iOS.

eMail Client

Mozilla Thunderbird is a free, open-source, cross-platform email client, news, RSS and chat client.

Office Suite

LibreOffice includes several applications: Writer (word processing), Calc (spreadsheets), Impress (presentations), Draw (vector graphics and flowcharts), Base (databases) and Math (formula editing).

Although LibreOffice's default format is the open document format (ODF), you can also open, edit and save documents which are in Microsoft's formats.

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