A list and descriptions of software for both Linux and Windows operating systems that are free and improve business productivity.
Thunderbird is an excellent email client that many use instead of Microsoft Outlook. It has a great selection of addons that can further expand its functionality and features. Suggested addons: Contacts sidebar, Foxclocks and Ligthning. These give you better management of contacts, world clocks and calendar functionality.
Open Office http://www.openoffice.org/
The mature and very usable Open Office suite of packages is a fantastic alternative to Microsoft Office. Providing functionality and features that go beyond most small business requirements. It can also export to Microsoft Word, Excel and PDF formats among others.
An excellent desktop publishing package ideal for any startup to quickly and cheaply produce leaflets and posters.
A nice nifty application to help you draw your diagrams. Ideal for great flow charts etc and exports to various graphics formats. Easy to incorporate into your other work if required.
Although I’ve not spent much time with it, I’ve found it ideal to quickly edit graphics. Many obviously perfer Photoshop and Paint Shop Pro. However as it doesn’t cost anything and has quite a few features it is more than enough for a lot of small businesses.
The popular VoIP service. Ideal for business colleagues working in different locations to reduce overheads for instance. Has conference call features and more. I’ve used this for years and always have been impressed by the quality of calls and features you get for free. You can then decide whether you want to pay for extra features such as calling non-skype users, have an answer phone or even a phone number assigned to your skype account. Well worth a look.
Firefox for many is a great alternative to Internet Explorer. The tab browsing, impressive amount of regular updates, addons, correctly displaying html code etc has made this a popular browser.
For those who require regular ftp access to a server, FileZilla is a great ftp client. It also is regular updated, easy to use with drag and drop features, site manager among other features.
If you know of a free application that is ideal for small businesses to run on both Linux and Windows, please tell us!