The trend of the Free and Open Source Software movement had many supporters talking today. ZDNet ran multiple perspectives on the blossoming popularizing of Linux this morning, and OStatic published an in-depth article on Open Source Resources as well. Various events have pointed to this moment in the evolution of Operating System software, a two-party system if there ever was one. Jason Perlow claims the economic slowdown has pushed consumers to consider the low- or no-cost options available in this category. Netbooks are a hot commodity, and many come installed with their personalized version of Linux favorite, Ubuntu.
According to Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, changes within Linux builds have done a lot to catch the eye of the public: increased software reliability and hardware support. less command line reliance and the less geeky, "friendly face" of Ubuntu are all factors. But the anti-establishment ethos of Linux means that Hughes doesn't believe it will go mainstream soon.
Perlow knows everyone uses their computers differently, and if "Joe Sixpack" were advertised to, and migration were made truly easy, OS switching could be a possibility. His strategy is about demystifying Linux, and providing end-user level access and resources.
A selection of just such resources were put together in the OStatic article. Less drastic than a complete OS switch, but more of a change than Firefox extensions, this moderate approach has the most potential appeal to FOSS-curious experimentation.
Atelier readers are most likely already familiar with Mozilla's Firefox, but less so with the company's other projects: Microsoft Office's Entourage can be replaced with Thunderbird, for example. As for the other MS Office programs, they can be displaced with Open Office products.
Most software categories have Open Source equivalents. Personal music player software can replace iPod firmware with Rockbox, and Photoshop functionality can be found in the GNU Image Manipulation Program, or GIMP.