However, for many applications you use every day, there are great alternatives that are even for free. Here are some of the main software alternatives for Windows:
Office suite (word processing, spreadsheet, presentations)
Software package that is comparable to Microsoft Office. Contains a word-processing program (like Word), a spreadsheet program (like Excel), presentation program (such as Power Point) and others.
- Google Docs
Similar to Microsoft Office, but it is used online in the browser. A Google account is required. The created files are stored online and can be opened from anywhere (Cloud Computing).
Very useful, but not a real alternative to OpenOffice or Microsoft Office.
Creating and editing PDF files
Creating PDFs and other files (such as PNG, JPG, BMP, PCX, TIF, PS, EPS). The tool is controlled by the print function.
- FreePDF Ghostscript
Create PDF documents.
Both software packages must be installed. The configuration is done automatically.
- Free PDF to Word Doc Converter
Converts PDF files into Word files.
Playing DVDs, videos and audio files
- VLC media player
Plays almost any audio and video formats.
- Kantaris Media Player
Plays DVDs, videos and audio files. Version 0.6.6 works with Windows 2000, XP, Vista or 7.
Email (instead of Outlook or Outlook Express)
Offers great expansion possibilities (with so-called add-ons https://addons.mozilla.org) and therefore offers everything Outlook has to offer.
Online-mail program with more than 7 GB of memory. Provides labels and grouping of emails into conversations.
- Mozilla Firefox
Very popular browser that can be extended easily with a variety of add-ons (https://addons.mozilla.org/en/firefox).
- Opera browser
Good performance, but cannot be extended.
- Google Chrome
Very stable and incredibly fast, but sends your data to Google.
The Mac browser is also available in a version for Windows. However, the browser offers no advantages over other browsers.
Programs for burning CDs and DVDs
Burns CDs, DVDs (including double layer and rewritable), Blu-Ray and HD DVDs. Reliable and not overloaded with extra features.
Burns DVDs, CDs, Blu-Ray and HD DVDs, and supports popular image formats.
With this software you can edit photos, create images, convert several files at once, use layers, fonts and effects. GIMP is developed by a large community.
For organizing and archiving photos, but also for image editing.
The free anti-virus programs protect against viruses and some also against spyware, but they do not protect against phishing attacks nor do they check your emails for viruses.