In a tough economy, free is better than cheap. Luckily for us in the Windows world, there are a lot of completely free, and reliable, applications for us to choose from. Be it productivity software, painting, email, browsing, instant messaging, or many other areas, you can find what you need. CNet’s Download.com has compiled a great list of many products. They call it the “Windows Starter Kit,” but I think it’s more of a one-stop-shop for finding great applications for your PC. I have raved in the past about Download.com, especially since they promise adware-free downloads. That’s cool.
Check out the article at: http://download.cnet.com/8001/2701-19409_4-2-1.html?tag=page;page
Below are the categories they cover in the article:
- Office and Productivity (word processing, database, spreadsheet, presentation, PDF, and more)
- Email clients
- Web Browsers (although IE 8 and Firefox are my favs right now)
- Image editors and screen capture
- Music jukeboxes (I don’t personally like iTunes much anymore, preferring Zune instead, but that’s just my 2c, and CNet loves Apple)
- Video jukeboxes and playback
- File compression/decompression
- Instant messaging, Twitter clients, and the like
- Bit torrent software (although I’m against piracy, which is what most P2P software is used for, I’m listing it here because it’s in the article)
- Disk utilities (disk defragmenters, process monitors, and more)
Now, they left out a many great applications and utilities:
- Microsoft’s Zune – talk about a great music player, and the subscription plan is hard to beat.
- Trillian Lite – A good all-around instant messaging app that supports AIM, MSN, Yahoo, IRC, and other protocols.
- Microsoft’s Live Software – A complete suite of incredibly robust and free software from Microsoft. Like Apple’s iLife, but with more functionality, and greater breadth. Did you even know about half this stuff?
- Live Photo Gallery – Manage your photos, touch them up, create panoramas, share on Facebook and Live Spaces.
- Live Movie Maker – Create movies with an easy point-and-click interface. Then publish to disk, disc, or the Web.
- Live Mail – Easy to use and supports all types of mail systems, including Hotmail.
- Live Messenger – A great instant messaging application, supporting video and audio chat, customized themes, and more. Winner of the 2008 CNet Editors Choice award.
- Live Writer – The best blogging tool out there. Hands down, this software rules.
- Live Mesh – Effortlessly sync your files across all your systems, remote access all your computers, all with Live Mesh.
- Live SkyDrive – Share your files with co-workers, friends, and family. 25 GB of free space. Nice.
- Live Family Safety – Control how your kids access the Internet. Limit searches, block or allow Web sites, control chats in Live Messenger, and more.
- There are many other Live products, too, so check it out at download.live.com.
Do you have any great free products you’d recommend? Post those recommendations in the Comments!