It's been a progressive process but now I can say that almost every piece of software that I use in my day to day work is free software. Frankly, by free here I mean € 0. There are other obvious benefits of free / open software but my budget leaved them in a second row.
That's the free software that I use mostly:
- Oracle JDeveloper
- Apache Tomcat
The only commercial software that I use is Norton Antivirus and the OS of my laptop, Windows XP. Leaving aside the fact that most of my customers (that's 2 of them :-) have Microsoft networks and using Windows makes things somewhat easier when working in their networks, I like this operating system, I think Microsoft has been always good at it (I'm talking about OS for desktops here).
What I find annoying is to find the operating system pre installed in almost every new computer; and it's disappointing too not to have the option to choose between Windows or Linux or Solaris or whatever OS you prefer. Instead, you find two stickers saying “Hey, we're the microprocessor and OS manufacturers and we're inside your computer. You've already payed for us and you cannot get rid of us”. You have to pay, like it or not, for the 'the facto' OS for Intel desktops (and lately probably for a decent anti virus too).
Apparently times are changing for good though in the IT world thanks to the many free/open source contributions; it seems to be an exciting and promising future in front of us, a future of more choice, more quality, more control and essentially more technological freedom.