The Internet has been given credit for a number of revolutionary developments and changes made to our society, and to the way many people and individuals do business. Microsoft pioneered the idea of ‘’intellectual property rights’’ for software, by enforcing the idea that you don’t actually buy software itself; you buy a “license” to use their software. The software itself belongs to Microsoft, and they are giving you permission to use it. This concept has made barrels of money for Microsoft, but it also sparked the software revolution that has produced a great number of versatile, powerful software packages.
However, many of these software products are ridiculously expensive. Adobe Photoshop looks great, but it costs over $500! Microsoft Office is very useful, but it costs $250! And there are many other pieces of software that are way out of your price range if you’re on a low budget. How can you get good virus protection or spam filtering or privacy protection (such as encryption) if you have a limited budget? It’s almost as though you’d have to illegally swipe software from the file-sharing networks, or else you go without.
But the Internet community has found a solution that lets you have access to powerful, versatile, safe software programs that are completely legal to own and operate: namely, open source programs! The Open Source concept flies in the face of most money-making business packages: Open Source software is usually free, and the actual source code for the software is open for anyone to use, modify, and improve. When you have thousands of people all over the world working to produce a better software package, you're likely to end up with something just as good – if not better – than the mega-expensive, strictly controlled packages coming from Microsoft.
And this is where SourceForge comes in. SourceForge is the world's largest Open Source project: It allows you to join and assist with the development of great software, and make it available to the masses. Best of all, SourceForge allows you to download great software packages for free and install them on your own system!
(Of course, Open Source software is not free of rules; you can't just grab it and do anything you want to it without considering the many other people who worked to develop it. But as long as you agree to use the program fairly and honestly, then you can use just about any Open Source program right away.)
Sourceforge is a download center for many of the greatest Open Source programs. Why should you pay hundreds and thousands of dollars for software packages that have Open Source competitors available legally – for FREE?
A great number of free software packages are available to you right now!