OpenOffice, Microsoft Security Essentials Among 10 Key Freeware Solutions
Combine flat-lining IT budgets for the umpteenth year in a row with a mounting demand on technology services, and you'll understand why IT professionals are increasingly turning to free software to automate tasks and save time. While newly implemented technologies and policies such as virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), video conferencing and bring your own device (BYOD) can have positive effects on how IT contributes to the overall success of an organization, they also can complicate technology infrastructures and eat up existing budget dollars. Freeware can fill the voids caused by budget constraints or legacy software and mitigate unintended consequences of newly implemented technologies—all without affecting the bottom line. Solutions like OpenOffice and Microsoft Security Essentials go a long way to provide office productivity and solid security to home and small-business users. Lawrence Garvin, head geek and technical product marketing manager for SolarWinds, helped eWEEK come up with a list of useful freeware solutions for IT professionals to do their job better, faster and cheaper.
In the realm of robust, full-featured products, OpenOffice (and derivatives, such as LibreOffice and IBM Lotus Symphony) certainly belong on this list just because of its depth of functionality. These products may interest IT pros in situations where older versions of Office are still in use and money doesn't exist to upgrade them, or justifying the spending is difficult because the software is minimally used. Also, for organizations that need to add a suite of office tools but want to evaluate the level of usage before investing in more traditional—and expensive—options, a free suite such as OpenOffice, LibreOffice or Symphony can provide the insight needed.