Best Free and Open Source Alternatives to Microsoft

Best Free and Open Source Alternatives to Microsoft Yammer

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 YammerYammer is an enterprise social networking service used for private communication within organizations.

This is is a social network for businesses built into the enterprise editions of Microsoft 365. It’s a closed platform sometimes described as Facebook for businesses.

What are the best free and open source alternatives?


1. Diaspora

Diaspora is an online social world where the users are in control. It’s based on decentralization, freedom, and privacy.


2. Movim

Movim is a social and chat platform that act as a frontend for the XMPP network.

This lets users exchange with many other clients on all devices such as Conversations (Android) or Dino (Desktop).


3 pump.io

pump.io is a stream server that does most of what people really want from a social network. You can post almost anything that can be represented with activity streams — short or long text, bookmarks, images, video, audio, events, geo checkins.


4. Crust Messaging

Crust Messaging is a secure, high performance, open source alternative that allows your teams to collaborate more efficiently, as well as communicate safely with other organisations or customers.


All articles in this series:

Alternatives to Microsoft's Products and Services
GitHubDistributed version control and source code management functionality of Git
OneNoteNote-taking program for free-form information gathering and collaboration
ProjectDevelop schedules, assign resource, track progress, manage budget +
YammerSocial-networking platform for organizations
BingSearch services, including web, video, image and map search products

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