One of the great dividends of an IT career has been the global community that has contributed to software development and support -- much of it at no cost. I participate at various levels with the following communities:
I have been working in AIX and Linux since 2008 on a full time basis. Linux specialists are self-motivated and uphold the professional standards that improve our knowledge of Linux. Needless to say, I owe a lot to many.
I started using Ubuntu in 2008. It must be confessed that the Achilles heel of Linux is its limited appeal as a desktop solution. For many years the leader in desktop development was Red Hat's Fedora, which I used for a couple of years with limited success. It was then I discovered Ubuntu which was probably the first serious effort to develop a desktop operating system that begins to address the needs of the average user as well as a working model for deployment in the business environment.
The amazing fact about Ubuntu is that I have not experienced a learning curve in adjusting to new interfaces, something that Microsoft users had to do moving from Windows 98 to Windows 2000, then Windows Vista, then Windows XP, Windows 7 and lately Windows 10.
Mozilla emerged from the dust of Netscape which was, during the 90's, one of the leading innovators of the "browser". Today, it is still a valued browser, having to contend with other browsers such as Internet Explorer, Chrome and Opera. It is an opensource program, available to people at no charge.
A companion of Firefox is Thunderbird e-mail client. I have used both since they emerged on the scene in 2004. Thunderbird was substantially more efficient than Outlook Express. It is also platform independent, so I as I moved from Windows to Linux and then Ubuntu, I never had to re-invent the wheel in regards to my e-mail. I simply copied the data to the new computer or platform and moved on.
How much have you spent on office software since 2000? I have been a user of OpenOffice since 2000 at no cost! It was a bit rough around the edges in 2000, but by 2005 it was competitive in almost every degree to what people normally do with office software. LibreOffice is today a product to seriously consider as a business and enterprise solution.