Microsoft’s stance for decades was that community creation and sharing of communal code (later to be known as free and open source software) represented a direct attack on their business. Their battle with Linux stretches back many years. Back in 2001, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer famously tarnished Linux “a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches”. Microsoft also initiated its “Get the Facts” marketing campaign from mid-2003, which specifically criticized Linux server usage, total cost of ownership, security, indemnification and reliability. The campaign was widely criticized for spreading misinformation.
However, in recent years, there has been a partial shift by Microsoft to embrace the open source software paradigm. For example, some of their code is open sourced. Examples include Visual Studio Code, .NET Framework, Atom, and PowerShell. They have also made investments in Linux development, server technology and organizations including the Linux Foundation and Open Source Initiative. They have made acquisitions such as Xamarin to help mobile app development, and GitHub a hugely popular code repository for open source developers. And they have partnered with Canonical, the developers of the popular Ubuntu distro. But many developers remain hugely sceptical about Microsoft and their apparent shift to embrace open source.
This series looks at the best free and open source alternatives to products and services offered by Microsoft.
Microsoft OneNote is a note-taking program for free-form information gathering and multi-user collaboration. It gathers users’ notes, drawings, screen clippings, and audio commentaries. Notes can be shared with other OneNote users over the Internet or a network.
OneNote is available as part of the Microsoft Office suite. Here’s our recommended free and open source alternatives.
Joplin is a free, open source note taking and to-do application which can handle a large number of notes organized into notebooks.
The notes are searchable, can be copied, tagged and modified either from the applications directly or from your own text editor. The notes are in Markdown format.
Joplin was designed as a replacement for Evernote and so can import complete Evernote notebooks, as well as notes, tags, resources (attached files) and note metadata (such as author, geo-location, etc.) via ENEX files.
Tusk is billed as a feature-laden, open source, community-driven, free Evernote app used by people in more than 140 countries.
Zim Desktop Wiki (Zim) is an open source graphical text editor used to maintain a collection of wiki pages.
Each page can contain links to other pages, simple formatting and images. Pages are stored in a folder structure, like in an outliner, and can have attachments. Creating a new page is as easy as linking to a nonexistent page.
All data is stored in plain text files with wiki formatting. Various plugins provide additional functionality, including a task list manager, an equation editor, a tray icon, and support for version control.
CherryTree is a hierarchical note taking application, featuring rich text and syntax highlighting, storing data in a single xml or sqlite file. It offers a good range of features.
Simplenote offers a simple way to keep notes.
All articles in this series:
|Alternatives to Microsoft's Products and Services|
|GitHub is a distributed version control and source code management functionality service.|
|OneNote is a note-taking program for free-form information gathering and collaboration.|
|Project lets you develop schedules, assign resource, track progress, manage budget, and more.|
|Yammer is a social-networking platform for organizations.|
|Bing offers search services, including web, video, image and map search products.|
|OneDrive is a file hosting service and synchronization service.|
|Outlook is a personal information manager that's primarily an email client.|
|Office is a family of client software, server software, and services.|
|Dynamics 365 is an enterprise resource planning and customer relationship management program.|
|Visio is a diagramming and vector graphics application.|
|Publisher is a desktop publishing application with focus on page layout and design.|
|To Do is a cloud-based task management application|
|New to Linux? Read our Linux for Starters series. We start right at the basics and teach you everything you need to know to get started with Linux.|
|The largest compilation of the best free and open source software in the universe. Each article is supplied with a legendary ratings chart helping you make informed decisions.|
|Hundreds of in-depth reviews offering our unbiased and expert opinion on software. We offer helpful and impartial information.|
|Alternatives to Google's Products and Services examines your options to migrate from the Google ecosystem with open source Linux alternatives.|
|Alternatives to Microsoft's Products and Services recommends open source Linux software.|
|Alternatives to Adobe Cloud looks at free and open source alternatives to products available from Adobe Cloud's subscription service.|
|Alternatives to Apple recommends free and open source alternatives to Apple's proprietary world.|
|Alternatives to Corel surveys alternatives to Corel's range of graphics processing products and other software applications.|
|Getting Started with Docker helps you master Docker, a set of platform as a service products that delivers software in packages called containers.|
|Essential Linux system tools focuses on small, indispensable utilities, useful for system administrators as well as regular users.|
|Linux utilities to maximise your productivity. Small, indispensable tools, useful for anyone running a Linux machine.|
|Home computers became commonplace in the 1980s. Emulate home computers including the Commodore 64, Amiga, Atari ST, ZX81, Amstrad CPC, and ZX Spectrum.|
|Now and Then examines how promising open source software fared over the years. It can be a bumpy ride.|
|Linux at Home looks at a range of home activities where Linux can play its part, making the most of our time at home, keeping active and engaged.|
|Linux Candy reveals the lighter side of Linux. Have some fun and escape from the daily drudgery.|
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|Stars and Stripes is an occasional series looking at the impact of Linux in the USA.|