Two years back, we compiled a list of 100 useful software that you can install for daily usage. Two years down the road, some of the software in the list are already outdated or no longer available and many new software emerge, so now we feel there is a need to recompile the list of free software again.
This time round, we are going to spend a bit more effort and compile 100 free software each for Windows, Mac and Linux. It took us a lot of hard work and time to source out the software, so if you like it, don’t forget to spread the word around.
This is the first part of our compilation focusing on free Windows application. Mac and Linux applications will come in the later series.
Office Suite/Word Processing/Text Editor
- OpenOffice.org – The most complete free office suite and also the best alternative to Microsoft Office.
- Go-OO – A variant of Open Office that has built in OpenXML import filters and will import your Microsoft Works files.
- IBM Lotus Symphony – a richly-featured set of productivity tools that are intuitive and easy to use. There are three applications that make up Lotus Symphony: Lotus Symphony Documents, Lotus Symphony Spreadsheets and Lotus Symphony Presentations.
- SSuite Office – Excalibur 2.0 – A visual pleasing set of office applications that contains more than a word processor and spreadsheet.
- AbiWord – a lightweight and easy to use word processor
- Jarte – a word processor that uses the Microsoft WordPad processing engine.
- Notepad++ – a free source code editor and Notepad replacement software that supports several languages.
- TED Notepad – TED Notepad is a chrome-less freeware text editor. It offers 197 text-processing functions, innovative features and other advanced tools. This light-weight portable notepad replacement fits on any USB flash disk and loads instantly with no installation required.
- Notepad2 – a fast and light-weight Notepad-like text editor with syntax highlighting. This program can be run out of the box without installation, and does not touch your system’s registry.
- PsPad – a simple yet powerful alternative to your regular Notepad
- Avast! Home Edition – one of the most popular free antivirus software out in the market
- AVG Anti-Virus – another top favorite among end users
- Comodo Internet Security – a complete security suite of firewall and antivirus
- Avira AntiVir Personal – good for detecting viruses and malware that other antivirus apps miss
- Clamwin AV – the only free and open source antivirus in this section. Nevertheless, it does its job well.
- SecureIT – Built on top of ClamWin AV, this software contains anti-virus, anti-spyware, firewall and malware blocker.
- Microsoft Security Essential – a lightweight and fast antivirus software by Microsoft
- SpyCatcher Express – a free and easy to use anti-spyware application
- HijackThis – a free utility that generates an in depth report of registry and file settings from your computer.
- Zone Alarm Free Firewall – the grand daddy of all free firewall software. Still as useful even though it has been around for a long time.
- GIMP / GimpShop / GimPad – GIMP is touted as the best alternative to Photoshop. Gimpshop and Gimpad are two other alternatives that make GIMP interface more like Photoshop
- Paint.net – This is a much better image editing tool than the default Paint in Windows.
- IrfanView – a great image viewer that is simple to use for beginner and powerful enough for professional.
- PhotoScape – Photoscape is a fun and easy photo editing software that enables you to fix and enhance photos.
- ImageMagick – a popular software to create, edit, and compose bitmap images. It can read, convert and write images in a variety of formats (over 100) including DPX, EXR, GIF, JPEG, JPEG-2000, PDF, PhotoCD, PNG, Postscript, SVG, and TIFF.
- InkScape – An Open Source vector graphics editor, with capabilities similar to Illustrator, CorelDraw, or Xara X, using the W3C standard Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) file format
- Photo Pos Pro – a free photo editor offers users a wide variety of possibilities in the fields of Image Enhancing and Image Editing and in the field of Computer Graphics Design.
- XnView – a utility for viewing and converting graphic files
- Photobie – Photobie is image editing software that combines features amateurs can use with advanced tools professionals will appreciate.
Instant Messaging Client
- Digsby – a mix between IM, social networking tool and email client
- Pidgin – an easy to use and free chat client used by millions. Connect to AIM, MSN, Yahoo, and more chat networks all at once.
- Trillian Astra – Chat on Windows Live™, Yahoo!, MySpaceIM, AIM, Google, ICQ, Jabber, Skype, IRC, and manage your Email, Facebook, and Twitter!
- Skype – the grand daddy of VOIP software
- MSN Messenger Polygamy – MSN Messenger (WLM) Polygamy 2009 will allow you to use multiple copies of MSN Messenger at the same time.
- Nimbuzz – With one secure log-in you can access Windows Live Messenger (MSN), Yahoo, ICQ, AIM, Google Talk, Facebook, MySpace, Gadu-Gadu, Hyves and many more.
- Miranda IM – an open-source multi protocol instant messenger client for Microsoft Windows. It’s smaller, faster, easier!
- VoxOx – With only one login, VoxOx gives you access to all your instant messaging accounts from one window. Facebook, MySpace and Skype IM are included now, so you can chat with any of your friends on your favorite network or instant messenger from VoxOx.
- Palringo – Available for both computer and mobile phone. Now you can chat with all your buddies, no matter what IM they use, all from one universal Instant Messenger.
Social network Desktop Client
- Fishbowl – personalize how you read your Facebook newsfeed, update status, comment, like, browse and upload photos.
- TweetDeck – Receive update for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn simultaneously
- Seesmic Desktop – supports multiple Facebook and Twitter accounts
- Scrapboy – a downloadable client that will let you use Facebook chat, see updates to friends walls and browse new photos, set Facebook reminders, and more all without having to go to Facebook through your browser.
- Nomee – 120+ social networking sites served up in one place. So you can easily find and follow the social networking of friends and celebrities, family and coworkers. Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube, LinkedIn, Flickr and more than 100 more.
- Yoono Desktop – Yoono is an easy to use application that allows you to connect to all your social networks and instant messaging services – in one place.
- twhirl – connects to multiple Twitter, laconi.ca, Friendfeed and Seesmic Video accounts
- jUploadr – a cross platform, cross-site Photo uploader
8hands Desktop – 8hands is a service for the social networks users that want to always stay in the know but don’t want to waste too much time on checking their blogs and profiles. The 8hands Desktop application will organize all your social networks into one place and notify you upon new events.
- Sobees Lite – Search the recent messages posted on Twitter and Friendfeed and be the first one informed if anything that matters to you happens.
- Xvid4PSP – Converting videos to various formats
- Mobile media converter – a free video and audio converter for converting between popular desktop media formats like MP3, Windows Media Audio (wma), Ogg Vorbis Audio (ogg), Wave Audio (wav), MPEG video, AVI, Windows Media Video (wmv), Flash Video (flv), QuickTime Video (mov) and commonly used mobile devices/phones formats like AMR audio (amr) and 3GP video.
- Handbrake – an open-source, GPL-licensed, multiplatform, multithreaded video transcoder, available for MacOS X, Linux and Windows.
- Videora converter – a free iPod video converter that converts video files, YouTube videos, movies and DVD’s so you can play them on your iPod.
- Avi2Dvd – an All In One tool to convert from Avi/Ogm/Mkv/Wmv/Dvd to Dvd/Svcd/Vcd format.
- MediaCoder – touted as the swiss army knife for media transcoding in all time.
- Any Video Converter – a free video converter for converting video files between various formats, with fast converting speed and excellent video quality.
- VLC – VLC is a versatile media player that can play almost any video/audio you throw to it.
- Free FLV Converter – Search and download videos from Youtube, Dailymotion, Google Video, Yahoo Videos, MetaCafe, Veoh, megavideo and convert them to AVI, iPod, PSO, iPhone, 3GP or FLV (flash) formats.
- Free Video To iPhone Converter – Convert video files to Apple iPhone MP4 video format encoded with the high quality h.264 video codec.
Music management Software
- iTunes – Apple most popular music management software. You need it to sync your iPod.
- Winamp Media Player – a proprietary media player that is both skinnable and supports multi-format.
- JetAudio Basic – a media player that supports all major file formats
- Media Monkey – allows you to organize music and edit tags in your audio library with a powerful, intuitive interface.
- Songbird – free, open source media player that allows you to browse the Web within the player
- SharePod – manage your iPod without iTunes
- Helium Music Manager – a full-fledged music manager that can rip, tag, play, burn and synchronize with your portable device
- DoubleTwist – a great alternative to iTunes, able to sync your iPod, iPhone, iPod Touch and Android Phone
- Foobar 2000 – an advanced music player that took 10 years to release the version 1.0
- TagScanner – a multifunction program for organizing and managing your music collection.
- Thunderbird – a free, open source and powerful email client.
- Eudora – one of the oldest email client around
- Zimbra desktop – the main email client behind Yahoo! mail, now also available for desktop
Opera Mail – an email client built within the Opera browser.
- Sylpheed – a simple, lightweight but featureful, and easy-to-use e-mail client
- IncrediMail – a visually pleasing email client that enables you to create nice email background and template.
- Pegasus Mail – a email client with a long history
- Windows Live Mail – Get multiple e-mail accounts in one program – Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo!* and more. And now Windows Live Mail has a calendar, too. Mail combines the ease of use of Outlook Express, with the speed of Windows Live.
- Koma-mail – Koma-Mail is an email client which is comfortable and has very handy functions. It does not need an installation, so that you can run Koma-Mail from your flash drive but, of course, also on your desktop.
- Mulberry Mail – another free and open source email client.
System Optimization and Diagnostic Tool
- CCleaner – a freeware system optimization, privacy and cleaning tool. It removes unused files from your system – allowing Windows to run faster and freeing up valuable hard disk space.
- Defraggler – Use Defraggler to defrag your entire hard drive, or individual files – unique in the industry. This compact and portable Windows application supports NTFS and FAT32 file systems.
- Auslogics Disk Defrag – a compact and fast defragmentation tool that supports both FAT 16/32, and NTFS file systems. It’s supplied with advanced disk optimization techniques, which will remedy your system sluggishness and crashes caused by disk fragmentation.
- Easeus Partition Master Home Edition – an useful tool to optimize the performance of server or non-server machines including latest Windows 7 by extending the system partition. To Create, Delete, Resize/Move, Copy, Merge, Split or Format partition is also easy to realize.
- CPU-Z – CPU-Z is a freeware that gathers information on some of the main devices of your system.
- Ultimate Windows Tweaker – a freeware Tweak UI Utility for tweaking and optimizing Windows Vista, 32-bit & 64-bit. It can simply be downloaded and used as a portable application to customize your Windows Vista to meet your requirements.
- TweakNow PowerPack – a fully-integrated suite of utilities that let you fine-tune every aspect of your computer’s operating system and Web browser.
- 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.
- The Ultimate Troubleshooter – The Ultimate Troubleshooter (TUT) identifies for you the background task which is causing the crash.
- Process Explorer – The Process Explorer shows a list of the currently active processes and the information regarding the processes.
- Cobian Backup – a free, donation-supported backup software for Windows.
- Easeus to do backup – enables you to clone the entire disk fast both in windows and bootable CD.
- Comodo Time Machine – a powerful system rollback utility that allows users to quickly restore their computers to an earlier point in time.
- Back4Win – Easy to use freeware Backup program with many features including backup span disk (spanning) to CDR(Back4winXP) and CDRW.
- DriveImage XML – DriveImage XML is an easy to use and reliable program for imaging and backing up partitions and logical drives.
- JaBackup – Backup software designed to automate all your backup, synchronization, and archiving tasks.
- SyncBack Freeware – a premium suite of backup and synchronization software. The SyncBack Freeware is free to download and use.
- FBackup – FBackup has a simple interface that guides you through the process of defining a backup job with a friendly wizard.
- File Backup Watcher (Free Edition) – Program File Backup Watcher is intended for files and folders backup, both with their following archiving, and without it. Backup is possible on a local computer, via Network, E-mail, FTP, CD-R, CD-RW, DVD-R and DVD-RW!
- Synchredible Standard Edition – synchronizes your data/folders the easy way: several assistants support you on defining scheduled jobs for data synchronisation and data backup.
Image credit: TheTruthAbout…