From time to time friends and family ask me to recommend software to them. Software from the best virus catcher to photo management. So I thought I would list some of the here for you. I used to have a list on my website, but removed those links during one of my website renovation. So below you will find my latest choices for "Best Software." There are lots of places to get information on the best software, one of my favorite review sites is CNET, which is also a great technology news site. There are others, but you will find that many are part of Ziff Davis and therefore CNET (also owned by Ziff Davis) also gives you the same thing.
All of the software below will be for Windows PCs. I don't have a Mac yet and can not fully attest that what is best on Windows will be best on Mac.
- Best AntiVirus: McAfee Anti-Virus
- Best Spyware Detection: Microsoft Antispyware -- This is Free (Great and Automatic)
- Best Instant Messaging: Trillian -- This is Free
- Best Web browser: FireFox -- This is Free
- Best Home Photo Editing: Adobe Photoshop Elements (4.0 just released)
- Best Home Photo Editing (Runner Up): Picaso 2.0 -- This is Free and Very Good
- Best Home Video Editing: Adobe Premiere Elements (2.0 just released)
- Best Photo Sharing: SmugMug (Three Levels of Service)
- Best Blogging Software: Blogger -- This is Free (This Web Site Done with Blogger)
- Best Office Suite: Microsoft Office 2003
- Best Office Suite (Runner-Up): Open Office -- This is Free
- Best Music Catalog Software: iTunes (6.0 just released) - This is Free
- Best Magazine software: Zinio -- Software is Free, Magazines Very in Price
- Best DVD Viewing: PowerDVD
- Best Bill Pay Service: MSN Bill Pay -- When You Arrive, Click on Bill Pay
I have provided links to each where you can learn more about them. You should be the final judge on what you want and if you want something that is free or not. Free isn't bad and there is some very good "free" software on the market. A great example is FireFox and Open Office, both are part of the Open Source movement. Basically that means a movement for software to be designed in the open by the community at large and given away for free. Not a great business model to be sure, but there is a huge following.
If you have any questions about any of these software packages let me know. I will do my best to answer your questions. I have more experience with some than others. All of them though I do use and enjoy. I have used different programs to do the same things in the past, and have ended up using all of these. That isn't to say I will always use them, there is always something bigger and better on the horizon.