Thousands of people expected to gather in cities around Canada and the world to share and promote the benefits of free and open source software.

The Barrie Linux Users Group is proud to announce Barrie’s inaugural Software Freedom Day on September 16, 2006. Software Freedom Day is a global initiative to celebrate and give back to the community by taking Free and Open Source software to the streets! The event will be held from 9am to 4pm at the Barrie Public Library’s Georgian Room.

Software Freedom Day will have over hundreds of teams across the world doing a variety of activities, including distributing free Linux CDs and other giveaways, running booths about Linux and open source software

Free software offers everyone all the tools they need to improve their computer literacy, without any upfront cost. Computers have become an integral part of society and now drive most businesses. Computer skills have therefore become essential to advancing a person’s career.

In addition to job prospects, computer skills and online communications equip an individual with the means to a better education, online services and goods, a broader community, and to opportunities that simply may not be accessible to them in their area. The online culture does not judge people on their colour, age, sex, or beliefs, but rather on their achievements, and with the right tools, what an individual can achieve with a computer is solely limited by their imagination.

Examples of free software include the Linux operating system, OpenOffice.org office productivity suite, Firefox Web browser, and the GIMP image manipulation tool (similar to Adobe Photoshop). There is also free software for gaming, instant messaging, business and financial applications, and many more areas of computing.