Here is my view on what are the top 10 free Windows Apps are. All the apps websites are linked in the name. Also I have left out software such as browsers as I will be doing a later focus on that.
1.OpenOffice 3.2 – It is a free office suite created by Sun Microsystems and is open source. It has has over 100 million downloads so far! Which is amazing for a bit of free software. It has all the functionality of Microsoft Office however it is a little bit less pretty however there is way more support available for Open Office. It is available for Windows, Mac and Linux meaning it reaches a huge spectrum of users from businesses to students.The suite features; OpenOffice Impress which is a PowerPoint creator, Open Office Word Processor which interestingly enough is a word processor, OpenOffice Draw which is a fully featured painting tool which you can create logos, flowcharts and drawings in, OpenOffice Calc which is also known as OpenOffice Spreadsheet in which you can create spreadsheets and finally OpenOffice Base which is a tool for you to create databases in.
2. Gimp– Gimp sometimes known as ‘The Gimp’ is an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Software. It is a brilliant graphics editor and is not far from being on a level playing field with the likes of Adobe Photoshop and considering it is open source and therefore free is a huge feat. Gimp comes with some brushes installed however there are not enough to do anything spectacular unless you use some of the other tools available, however, there are thousands of brushes available for the Gimp and since the latest versions accept the Photoshop brush format you will have an amazing supply of free brushes on the internet which are available from such sites as here and here. On top of there being a huge supply of brushes, patterns and textures there are fonts as well. Another great thing about Gimp is how well documented it is with hundreds perhaps even thousands of tutorials all there to teach you something new… for free!
3. VLC Media Player- VideoLAN Media Player has to be my favourite media player for many reasons and I think that it deserves all the praise it gets. This is another piece of software which has been download over 100 million times (almost 422 million to be precise) which shows that even a few people like it ;). It is probably THE most platform independent pieces of software around today and can be found on multiple operating systems including but not limited to ; Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, BeOS, Syllable, BSD, MorphOS, Solaris and Sharp Zaurus. It is the best media player for streaming videos across the web as well as playing many file formats. It is highly customizable and there are thousands of skins available for the player to change the look and feel of it however this does not change the way it works. One very cool feature I only found out about recently was one which allows you to export and play video as ASCII art.
4. BitTorrent– BitTorrent is a client for downloading torrents. If you don’t know what a torrent is read this. This is the original client however there is a spin-off of this program called µTorrent. It is a very small version of BitTorrent however has the same basic functionalities. BitTorrent is available on Windows, Mac and Linux however this client runs smoother on Windows so I advise Trasmission which is a client for Linux and Mac OSX. There are many sites to visit on which you can download things however most things which can be downloaded from places like The Pirate Bay or Mininova is illegal however there are websites where torrents aren’t illegal because the download doesn’t infringe any copyright laws although I have yet to find a site like that. Also please watch out when downloading torrents and always scan files when you are downloading onto you computer as some idiots put viruses and the likes in their torrents just to annoy people.
5. 7zip– 7zip is possible the best file archiver available on Windows apart from WinRAR which I have judged for this article not as good as 7zip. It is another open source program and is available in 69 languages including; Japanese, French and German. It is available in a different version for Linux and Mac called p7zip. It is available in a 32-bit version and a 64-bit version and can be run on Windows distros all the way up from Windows ME to Windows 7. It is probably best to install this alongside WinRAR since they both have their strengths and weaknesses they will be used for different archives.
Well I hope you enjoyed my guide and you use the programs!