# OpenOffice.org - OpenOffice.org is a viable alternative to Microsoft Office – even for professional use. It can do just about anything Office can.
# AbiWord – A lightweight version of Microsoft Office. Simple, straightforward interface; easy to use.
# Jarte - A word processor based on the Microsoft WordPad. It can be run directly from a USB flash drive.
# Notepad++ - A free source code editor and Notepad replacement, which supports several programming languages, running under the MS Windows environment.
# EditPad Lite - A general-purpose text editor, designed to be small and compact, yet offer all the functionality you expect from a basic text editor.
# avast! 4 Home Edition - A complete antivirus solution that is able to find computer viruses, create and check the integrity of programs installed, test executed programs and opened documents, to test and check email and other functions.
# AVG Anti-Virus - A free security solution that is easy to use, has low system resources, automatic update functionality and ability to protect as files are opened and programs are run.
# Comodo Firewall – A free firewall that constantly monitors and defends your PC from internet attacks. It is a fully functional product that comes with continual updates that are free forever!
# McAfee SiteAdvisor - A plugin for Firefox and IE browser that shows safety rating as you browse the Web.
# SpyCatcher Express - A free anti-spyware program that allows novice PC users to remove aggressive spyware, stops next-generation, mutating spyware, blocks reinstallation of aggressive spyware and removes spyware safely and automatically.
# StartupMonitor - A small monitoring program that keeps a constant eye on your system’s startup entries. When ever a change is made, you will be notified and given a choice to either allow the change or not to change.
# SuperStorm Freeware – This software allows you to hide your confidential files and folders in a wide variety of media files such as pictures, audio, video, executable programs among many other file types.
# Windows Defender - A free program that helps protect your computer against pop-ups, slow performance, and security threats caused by spyware and other unwanted software.
# HijackThis - A malware remove tool that makes a detailed log of what’s going on in your Registry and gives you the opportunity to remove things that might be suspect.
# Zone Alarm – This software lets you block uninitiated and unwanted traffic, even while your PC is unattended or while you’re not using your connection.
# Google desktop - A desktop search application that gives you easy access to information on your computer and from the web.
# Yahoo Desktop - Yahoo Desktop enables you to search and instantly find information, preview it in its native format, and take action on it immediately.
# TweakUI – This software reduces the Windows annoyance without having to meddle with the registry. It gives you access to system settings that are not exposed in the Windows XP default user interface, including mouse settings, Explorer settings, taskbar settings, and more.
# Pretty run - A small program that can search your start menu, desktop or any other folder for shortcuts.
# RoboForm - RoboForm memorizes and securely stores each user name and password the first time you log into a site, then automatically supplies them when you return.
# AutoHotkey - This open-source utility can automate almost anything by sending keystrokes and mouse clicks. You can write macros by hand or use the macro recorder. You can also create hotkeys for keyboard, mouse, joystick, and handheld remote controls.
# Keepass safe - A password manager which helps you to manage your passwords in a secure way. You can put all your passwords in one database, which is locked with one master key or a key-disk.
# Clipomatic - A clipboard cache program that remembers what was copied to the clipboard and allows you to retrieve it, even after you’ve copied something else to the clipboard.
# Firefox - Firefox includes tons of useful features such as tabbed browsing, built-in and customizable search bars, a built-in RSS reader and a huge library of extensions developed by thousand of developers.
# Opera - Opera introduces Speed Dial which vastly improves navigation to your favorite sites. In addition, there’s Fraud protection, an anti-phishing detection keeps browsing safe and secure.
# Crazy browser – A browser that allows users to collect tabs into groups and then load an entire group at once. This feature is very useful for research, as you can summon a set of related sites as needed, without manually opening each one.
Fun and Games
# Banshee Screamer Alarm - A snoozeable alarm clock designed to wake you up. Play MP3s, execute programs, or shut down your computer at the time you set.
# BZFlag - An online multiplayer cross-platform open source 3D tank battle game. It runs on Irix, Linux, BSD, Windows, Mac OS X, and many other platforms. It’s one of the most popular games ever on Silicon Graphics machines.
# ConWare IconArt - An easy-to-use icon & cursor editor that allows your to design your own, edit previous icons, create cursors, capture icons from programs and DLL files or import an image for your icon.
# Google Earth - Google Earth combines the power of Google Search with satellite imagery, maps, terrain and 3D buildings to put the world’s geographic information at your fingertips.
# Tux Racer - Getting bored and sick of the Windows game? Tux Racer lets you take on the role of Tux the Linux Penguin as he races down steep, snow-covered mountains. Enter cups and compete to win the title!
# ZSNES - A Nintendo emulator on your desktop. ZSNES is built to run on Windows, DOS, Linux and FreeBSD Unix and it is by far the best SNES emulator available.
# Cartes du Ciel – A sky map that allows you to find out what constellations and planets are visible tonight.
# GIMP – A complete image editing software with capabilities not found in any other free software product. It can be used as a simple paint program, an expert-quality photo-retouching program, a mass production image renderer, or an image-format converter.
# Paint.net - A free image and photo editing software that features an intuitive and innovative user interface with support for layers, unlimited undo, special effects, and a wide variety of useful and powerful tools.
# Google sketchup - A powerful yet easy-to-learn 3D software tool that combines a simple, yet robust tool-set with an intelligent drawing system that streamlines and simplifies 3D design.
# IrfanView - A fast and compact image viewer/converter that is simple for beginners and powerful for professionals.
Video and Audio
# Audacity – A complete recording and sound editing software that is available for Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, GNU/Linux, and other operating systems.
# Media Monkey - A music manager and jukebox for serious music collectors and iPod users. It offers an intelligent tag editor which looks up missing Album Art and track information via Freedb and the Web.
# CDex - An application that records audio tracks from CDs and saves them to a disk as regular WAV files or as encoded sound files.
# iTunes - One of the highest downloaded digital-jukebox software. Comes with the iTunes Music Store that offers music at 99-cents-per-song.
# Winamp - A multimedia player that supports numerous audio and video formats. It also plays streamed video and audio content, both live and recorded, authored worldwide.
# VLC - A highly portable multimedia player for various audio and video formats (MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, mp3, ogg, …) as well as DVDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols.
# QuickTime Alternative - This application let you play QuickTime or Real videos without Apple or Real’s bloated, in-your-face proprietary players.
# PrimoPDF - A free tool for high-quality PDF creation, comprising a user-friendly interface that enables printing to PDF from virtually any Windows application.
# PDF creator - A simple PDF creation tool for those who just want to skip the technical steps and produce a PDF file. If you know how to print, then you know how to use this software.
# doPDF - Using doPDF, you can create searchable PDF files from virtually any application. You can search for text within the created PDF file, and search engines will also index the text from the PDF.
# VMware Server - VMware Server installs on any existing server hardware and partitions a physical server into multiple virtual machines by abstracting processor, memory, storage and networking resources, giving you greater hardware utilization and flexibility.
# LogMeIn Hamachi – A VPN that allows you to access your home PC from work (or vice versa) as though you’re sitting right in front of it.
# OpenVPN - OpenVPN is a tried and true VPN solution. It is totally secure and infinitely configurable. You can install and run this software without relying on a third party.
# Windows Live messenger - The next generation MSN Messenger. It comes with everything that were already available in Messenger, and a new i’m Initiative that makes helping your favorite charity as easy as sending an instant message.
# Pidgin - A multi-protocol Instant Messaging client that allows you to use all of your IM accounts at once. Pidgin can work with: AIM, Bonjour, Gadu-Gadu, Google Talk, ICQ, IRC, MSN, Yahoo!, MySpaceIM and many more.
# Trillian - A fully featured, stand-alone, skinnable chat client that supports AIM, ICQ, MSN, Yahoo Messenger, and IRC.
# Skype - A software that enables you to make free calls anywhere in the world.
# Download Accelerator Plus - A download manager that can enhance your download experience. Features include a search tab, security check for every site and application you download, more speed per connection, resume broken download and preview file when you download.
# Internet download manager - A tool for increasing download speeds by up to 5 times, and for resuming, scheduling, and organizing downloads. The program will resume unfinished downloads due to network problems, or unexpected power outages.
# Getright – As a download manager, GetRight supports BitTorrent downloads too. In addition, you can use GetRight to schedule your downloads for later; it can dial your modem (if needed), download the files you want, then hang up or even shut down your computer when it is done.
# DownThemAll - A powerful yet easy-to-use Mozilla Firefox extension that adds new advanced download capabilities to your browser.
# Flashgot - A Firefox extension that allows you to handle single and massive downloads using the external download managers of your choice.
# Eraser - An advanced security tool for Windows that allows you to completely remove sensitive data from your hard drive by overwriting it several times with carefully selected patterns.
# Restoration - An easy to use and straight forward tool to undelete files that were removed from the recycle bin or directly deleted from within Windows (we were able to recover photos from a Flash card that had been formatted).
# Azureus - A popular torrent manager that allows you to install plug-in and tweak your own settings.
# µTorrent - A very, very tiny BitTorrent client that packs enough features into that small package to compete with beefier applications like Azureus.
# Bitcomet – A bit torrent manager that allows videos files to be previewed while they’re still being downloaded, and there’s a built-in chat tool that lets users chat with other peers in the swarm.
# Cobian Backup - A multi-threaded program that can be used to schedule and backup your files and directories from their original location to other directories/drives in the same computer or other computer in your network.
# Back4Win – A backup program that uses industry standard ZIP compression to ensures that your data will be accessible regardless of which PC operating system. Does not have 4Gb and 65535 file limit of other ZIP backup programs.
# DriveImage XML – This software allows you to backup logical drives and partitions to image files, browse these images, view and extract files, restore these images to the same or a different drive and copy directly from drive to drive.
# JaBackup - JaBackup allows advanced automation features. You can schedule backup tasks by the second or minute, or on a hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
# Xdrive Desktop - Xdrive gives you 5GB of online storage space to store and backup your files. The Xdrive desktop software allows you to backup and synchronize your data with the web server with few mouse clicks.
# Gmail Space - Use your Gmail account as storage by uploading and downloading files through a browser-based interface.
# 7-zip – This software compresses files in new 7z format with LZMA compression. It supports multi formats, including 7z, ZIP, GZIP, BZIP2 and TAR, RAR, CAB, ISO, ARJ, LZH, CHM, Z, CPIO, RPM, DEB and NSIS.
# Winzip - Using WinZip, you can quickly and easily compress and decompress files, folders, and entire folder trees to save storage space and reduce e-mail-transmission time, as well as encrypt and decrypt your sensitive documents.
# AutoUnpack - This is designed to unpack your compressed file in a single quick step. You merely point to a folder containing your ZIP or RAR files and choose an output directory. Press one button to start a process that ends with your archive perfectly unpacked, or let the program automatically unpack that directory every set number of minutes.
# ExtractNow - A simple program allows you to extract more than one archived file at a time, with one click of a button, making extracting files quicker and easier.
System Optimization and Diagnostic Tool
# CCleaner - A system optimization and privacy tool that removes unused files from your system and allowing Windows to run faster and freeing up valuable hard disk space.
# Security Process Explorer - An enhanced task manager, that provides advanced information about programs and processes running on the computer. It displays all the standard information, including file name, directory path, description, CPU usage etc. as well as a unique security risk rating.
# Network Analyzer – Capsa is network analyzer software designed for network monitoring and troubleshooting purposes. It performs real-time packet capturing, 24/7 network monitoring, advanced protocol analyzing, in-depth packet decoding, and automatic expert diagnosing. By giving users insights into all of the network's operations, Capsa makes it easy to isolate and solve network problems, identify network bottleneck and bandwidth use, and detect network vulnerabilities, external attacks and insecure applications.
# EULAlyzer - This takes your EULA agreement and analyze it in seconds, and provide a detailed listing of potentially interesting words and phrases. Discover if the software you’re about to install displays pop-up ads, transmits personally identifiable information, uses unique identifiers to track you, or more. It is great for picking out privacy issues.
# Process Explorer - An advanced process management utility that picks up where Task Manager leaves off. It will show you detailed information about a process including its icon, command-line, full image path, memory statistics, user account, security attributes, and more.
# Auslogics Disk Defrag – This software was designed to remedy system sluggishness and crashes caused by disk fragmentation. It is fast, simple to easy and what’s more, it is effective.
# SmartDefrag - SmartDefrag boasts a system checker that continually defrags the files that you use the most, and does it without becoming a persistent drag on your system resources. The “Install It and Forget It” feature works automatically and quietly in the background on your computer and it only eats up 14MB of RAM, so it’s possible to run it smoothly on older machines.
# Local Cooling - Fight global warming from your desktop! Local Cooling automatically optimizes your PC’s power consumption by using a more effective power save mode.
# Belarc Advisor - Belarc Advisor builds a detailed profile of your installed software and hardware and analyzes elements such as whether antivirus software is up to date, or whether all the security flaws in Windows have been patched.
# Thundrebird - Thunderbird makes e-mailing safer, faster, and easier than ever before with the industry’s best implementations of features, such as intelligent spam filters, a built-in RSS reader, and quick search.
# Eudora - A robust e-mail client whose features include multiple address-book-formatting options and the ability to filter, redirect, and forward mail. It supports QuickTime- and HTML-enriched e-mail, letting you include stylized, formatted text and in-line graphics in your messages.
# Opera Mail - Opera Mail is integrated with the Opera browser, and lets you send, receive, sort and search your e-mails quicker and easier than with conventional e-mail programs.
# Sylpheed - A surprisingly versatile email client. ‘Surprisingly’ because it has a friendly, easy to use interface to its many useful features.
# PopTray - The premier pop-up mail checker for standard POP3 and IMAP mail accounts, including Gmail, and it can be coaxed to work with HTML-only mail such as Hotmail by following the instructions at the PopTray site.
# Google Picasa - A free software that helps you locate and organize all the photos on your computer, edit and add effects to your photos with a few simple clicks and share your photos with others through email, prints and on the web.
# Xnview - A fast multi-format graphics browser, viewer, and converter. It has an Explorer-like browser that allows quick and simple browsing of directory contents.
# FxFoto – This software provides a single tool for automatically organizing, enhancing, annotating, e-mailing, printing, uploading, and archiving your digital photos.
# Adobe Photoshop Album Starter Edition 3.0 – This software makes it easy to find, fix, and share your digital photos. Instantly fix photo flaws in just a click or two.
# Jalbum - A gallery software that makes web albums from your digital images.
# Free FLV Converter - This free software let you search youTube and dailyMotion videos without opening your browser and you can even watch the videos using the built-in video player.
# Free Video To iPhone Converter - Convert video files to Apple iPhone MP4 video format. Convert the whole movie or select a partition from the movie to convert (trim video).
# Any Video Converter - An all-in-one video converting freeware with easy-to-use graphical interface, fast converting speed, and excellent video quality.
# iPod Video Converter - Free iPod Video Converter provides an easy and completed way to convert all popular video formats to iPod video.
# Filezilla - A full-featured FTP client that supports Secure FTP, SSL, and other protocols in a slick interface, complete with a tree-structured site manager that lets you store settings for multiple sites.
# SmartFTP - An FTP client which allows you to transfer files between your local computer and a server on the Internet. SmartFTP offers secure, reliable and efficient transfers that make it a powerful tool.
# FireFTP - FireFTP turns your browser into an FTP client, with a two-pane file manager for uploading and downloading.
# Yahoo Widget - A small, specific applications that you can run on your Windows or Mac OS desktop. You can download tons of useful widget from the widget gallery.
# Thanks to Frank for recommending another free software. Here is it: Process Scanner - This application gives you a complete analysis of all the processes running on your PC, along with a risk analysis of each one.