This is a guest post from Saif Ullah who is the marketing manager for the new Windows Movie Maker EZVID.
Although the death of the Windows platform has been widely predicted, in fact Windows is as strong as ever, with literally hundreds of millions of users around the world.
The single best thing about Windows (7, XP, Vista) is the massive breadth of software that is available, much of it Windows freeware. Here I’m going to discuss five pieces of free windows software which I consider to be indispensable.
I put Ezvid first because it isn’t extremely well known, and yet simultaneously solves a lot of problems at once. Billed as a “free video and slideshow creator”, Ezvid really works best as a presentation maker that can take the place of Powerpoint. It very quickly makes great looking informational videos for YouTube.
You can import video, still images, and text – all without leaving the main interface – and all with a click of a button. You can also make videos and slideshows of all kinds.
It is extremely easy to use and integrates seamlessly with YouTube… the upload functionality is extremely slick – you can watch as your video is created and the user feedback is great. And it’s totally free!
2. Libreoffice Productivity Suite (alternative to MS Office)
LibreOffice is a nerd-friendly productivity package which is intended to replace MS Office – and pretty much does. Calc does the spreadsheet, Writer does Word, Impress does Powerpoint, and etc.
Actually buying MS Office is out of range for a lot of us, and Libreoffice will pretty much do EVERYTHING that MS Office will do (unless you need complex plugins which are written only for MS Office.) I would definitely download this and have it installed on any new Windows machine.
[ Note from GrowMap: I have received a tip from a reader who says, “Not sure clamwin was a good choice. I’ve had to disinfect machines ‘protected’ by that. What about windirstat? (windirstat.info) an oldy but still one of the best for managing the hard drive space intuitively.” – THIS is why I encourage interaction and collaboration – so that my readers and collaborators get the benefit of the collective experience of all.]
3. Clamwin Antivirus
Actually, I hate antivirus programs. Why? Because once you have them installed, they can really slow down your computer – in fact, they can tend to slow down your computer more than an actual virus would!
But there’s not really any alternative – the only way for an antivirus to do its work is to actually continually scan your computer, and this uses a lot of processor power. My suggestion is this – use a more “simple” antivirus like Clamwin, and only do occasional, manual scans of your computer. Don’t leave it running all the time. It’s not 100% protection, but it at least it won’t slow your system to a complete standstill.
4. YouTube Downloader
It’s an open secret – nobody wants to pay for media or music anymore, and YouTube lets you access content for free. Google makes money, and artists and musicians just cry 😉 But seriously, just YouTube is not good enough because once you find what you on YouTube, to get it on your computer is not easy at all.
YouTube Downloader allows you to download FLV files from YouTube and then convert them into whatever u want – and hint – u can actually use these files to make new videos for YouTube – see #1 above, Ezvid…
Pretty much the only media player you will need, for all kind of videos files you might have “borrowed” from the Internet. Totally free, open source – almost nothing more to say. Oh yeah, cool logo!
There you have it – my favorite five free Windows applications.