The best free open source software for Windows

If you run Microsoft Windows, you owe it to yourself to try these 10 killer open source apps -- InfoWorld's top picks

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Join the revolution -- without leaving Windows!

There’s no doubt about it, the FOSS-on-Windows landscape is full of hidden gems waiting for you to discover. Some, like TrueCrypt and VirtualBox, are real diamonds in the rough: enterprise-grade solutions that deliver many of the same bells and whistles of their commercial brethren, but for free. Others, like Firefox and, are already legendary, and their strong followings ensure their continued development and support at levels that rival the best proprietary solutions.

If your idea of open source is limited to Linux and Firefox, you really owe it to yourself to check out some of the tools detailed above. Chances are, at least one of them will impress you enough to make it into your own must-have tools collection, leaving you with a few extra dollars to splurge on that Windows 7 Ultimate Edition upgrade you’ve been eyeing.

Or not. With TrueCrypt available for free, you can scratch BitLocker from the thin list of reasons to buy that high-end Windows SKU. No wonder Microsoft doesn't like open source.

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Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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