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Free Goodies for Your PCs by David Omar

Who said that all that is good isn't free? Well guess what, below is the list of software for five different categories that you can download and use for free. These software can help your activities and enhance your system capabilities. You might also be surprised on how deep all of these software really are considering their free of charge status. Check it out:

1. Goggle Picasa (Picture Manager and Editor) Like its slogan: "The easy way to find, edit, and share your photos", Google Picassa offers a very complete solution for photo enthusiasts and fortunately without any charge at all. First, it can manage and organize your photos. Second, it has an amazing array of automatic editing tools. And if editing image is not enough, the third capability of Picasa is that you can always create and transform those images with it into photo slide shows, colleges, and movies.

Have a webcam? Guess what, Picasa also supports live-capturing from this device. When all is done, Google has provided you with Picasa Web albums where you can share with other family members and friends from the entire world. Furthermore, Google has released Picasa 3. The "3" signifying another fact that this is a very popular software among Photo enthusiasts, a highly recommendable free product.

2. Open Office (The best alternative to Microsoft Office) So why it's a very recommendable product to become the best alternative to Microsoft Office? Because not only its status of being the leading open-source office software suite (meaning that you can use and distribute it freely), it offers a totally wide features you can't imagine exist on a free office software suite.

The suite itself contains fundamental applications for office needs, they are "Write" for word processing, "Calc" for spreadsheet, "Impress" for multimedia presentation, "Draw" for graphics, and "Base" for database. And don't worry about your past documents that you have created with other office suite, because Open Office not only can save and read your projects in its own international standard format, it also can save and read from other common office software package. It's very nice indeed.

3. Mozilla Thunderbird (A very fast, simple, yet powerful mail client)

Its simple look and intuitive design will fool you to see that this is a powerful email client. But as soon as you send and receive your first email from your favorite web-based mail services like Gmail, Hotmail, or Yahoo Mail, that would change. Configuration for these web mail services is also quite simple and straight forward (while not as advance as Outlook 2008 which can download automatically server settings for every popular web mail services).

It also offers "Advanced Folder Views" for you to choose the best possible display for your folder, "Message Tagging" which adds descriptions for the desired message, and customizable message filter. For your own security and privacy, Thunderbird has included Phishing protection and technology which improves its filtering each time you mark a message as spam. Not only that, Thunderbird also supported by robust selection of add-ons including themes that you can download directly from their website.

4. Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and Opera (Three Strong Candidates to Replace Your Internet Explorer)

These three internet browsers are strong candidates to replace your current Internet Explorer web browser. The three also offer one important promise: fast browsing. While Firefox offers another favorite feature such as wide range support of add-ons, Google Chrome offers favorite website preview in its main window for easy navigation to recently and most actively visited website. Different than its competitors, Opera has its own email client integrated inside. Be it a secondary or main web browser to replace your default one in Windows, any name you choose, you can't go wrong with these free web browsers.

5. XBMC Media Center (An ultimate multimedia hub for you)

XBMC stands for "Xbox Media Center". Yes, it was previously developed and designed only for Xbox, a Microsoft game console. But now due to its popularity, XBMC has migrated a long way home to PC, the home of the Titans of multimedia center products that flood the market. How does it fare with the more "serious" and commercial products? Well XBMC Media Center is the open source application that has the status you could not ever want more: an award winning status. So in a short summary, it fares very, very well in this world of PC. Want to know what is special about this media center application and what make it do such a journey from a console to PC realm?


David Omar is a freelancer for IT and game coverage that submits his works for many websites and blogs in these fields. He has just released a software-centric coverage website at PC Software Adviser. Check my full coverage on Free Goodies for Your PCs including pictures and download link.

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