Be Wehwy Wehwy Kehwful, but Open to Free Stuff

OK, I was channeling Elmer Fudd  when I wrote the title for this post. Sorry! There are lots of good and free software available. But you need to be wehwy careful and do your homework before you download and install any.  Find a reputable source (like me) that recommends the software and a safe way to obtain it.

Here is some of the free stuff I use, along with links to safe web sites where you can download it. I use other free software too, but this is quality stuff and  will save you a considerable amount of money.

Free Anti-virus and Anti-spyware Software:

Microsoft Security Essentials

Microsoft Security Essentials is a great product for home users and small businesses. It is available for small businesses with up to 10 PCs and, it is free!  It is easy to use. It reliably updates automatically. It scans for viruses and spyware in memory and on all your drives by schedule or on demand. And, it has all of the features you would expect from any industry leading Anti-virus software.

You can safely and legally download Microsoft Security Essentials at:

Free Office Productivity Software:

Apache OpenOffice

You would need to have money to burn, if you paid full price for Microsoft Office, before you try Apache’s OpenOffice!  It includes a word processor, spreadsheet, database, presentation application, graphics application and an equation editor!  And, it is compatible with Microsoft Office!  Yes, you read it correctly! Microsoft Office and OpenOffice can easily use each other's files! OpenOffice and Microsoft Office both use the OASIS - Open Document Format, an industry “open-standard”. OpenOffice is awesome! And, it is FREE!

You can safely and legally download Apache OpenOffice at:

Not Free, but Really Cheap Office Productivity software

Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010

No, I am not crazy, rich or out of touch with the common man!  Read on and I will explain. Microsoft Office 2010 is a great suite of office productivity apps. If you count all its versions, I am reasonably sure that Microsoft Office is the
most used office productivity software on the planet. But, Microsoft Office is expensive!

However, employees of companies and organizations that have a volume licensing agreement  with Microsoft, for Microsoft Office are eligible for the:

Microsoft Home Use Program 

Through the Microsoft Home Use Program (HUP) you can license, download and use Office 2010 Professional for $9.95!  That’s right!  $9.95!  It is a shame that so many people have paid full price for Microsoft Office to use at home, when they may have been eligible for the Home Use Program. There is one little catch in this otherwise amazing value;  when you are no longer employed by the company that approved your home use license, you cannot legally continue to use Office Pro unless you purchase a license. 

A company has to do very little work to offer the HUP to their employees. They have to sign up for the program and approve each employee purchase. After approved, the employee actually purchases their Home Use license directly from Microsoft, then simply downloads the software!   But many companies haven't heard about HUP!  If you think your company is a volume licensing customer of Microsoft, and you need Microsoft Office for your home computer, then you should tell your management and/or IT department that you would like to participate in the Microsoft Home Use Program. It doesn’t cost them anything but a little time. Check your company's eligibility...

In keeping with the "practical" spirit of my blog, I will be writing more on this topic soon! So visit again, to read more about quality software that is safe and inexpensive, or absolutely free!