I recently bought a new computer; when I went through the options deciding what I did/didn’t want, I cut it down to the barebones. I elected not to have any software on the computer that I’d have to pay for. Below are a few terrific free alternatives to spending lots of money on software.
Anyone who has used a computer without Microsoft Office knows that Word Pad is no alternative to Microsoft Word. OpenOffice.org’s word processor is, with most of the functionality of MS Word, it does a great job. Even down to the look and feel, it’s right on.
And it’s not just Word, the spreadsheet program is great too. I do my household budget in Excel, so I was a bit concerned that it wouldn’t work in OpenOffice, but I had no problems. You can even save to .xls for other users to open in Microsoft products. I haven’t needed to use the other applications in the suite, but I’m quite confident they’ll be great too.
When I chose to deselect Norton Antivirus from my home computer build, it dropped $85 off of the final price. That’s pretty great, since Avast does just as good of a job for me.
It has great active protection, if a threat is detected it will immediately prompt you. Plus it has a toolbar attachment to Firefox / IE, if you want to use it.
I have since learned that AVG is as good if not better. See it here.