List of the Day: Appsolutely Loaded!

by Ore Fakorede

To help you get the most out of your Windows PC, here’s a curated list of the best free (no trial versions) Windows software of 2011 (so far), organized by category for ease of access. Welcome to download heaven!

Antimalware/Antivirus Software

AVG Anti-Virus Free: Probably the best free antivirus for ’search and destroy’ virus removal operations, AVG Free gets the job done without any fuss, or PayPal donations. Download

Panda Cloud Antivirus: Here’s another veritable product of the cloud computing era. Rather than download virus signatures onto your hard drive as updates to help identify emerging threats, this software keeps things tidy and a lot safer by using a cloud-based list of up-to-date signatures for virus identification. It ought not to be free really. Download

Microsoft Security Essentials: Incorporates a firewall that guarantees basic protection on and off the Web but which might crumble under intense malicious attacks. It made this list because it integrates so well with Windows. Download

E-mail & Collaboration Software

Thunderbird: Mozilla’s classic e-mail client does what it was made to do better than the competition. Imagine all your mail boxes and folders in one place, literally. With Thunderbird’s sorting, search and push capabilities, you’ll never want to sign into any Web-based e-mail service (sorry Yahoo) again. Download

SpiceBird: This jack-of-all-trades collaboration desktop client integrates e-mail, an RSS reader, a task scheduler, an online calendar and support for Google Gadgets. Whew! Download

eM 3.0: Although it looks and feels like a Microsoft Outlook emulation, eM 3.0 carves a cosy niche for itself by offering a multiplatform instant messaging service to woo chat addicts. Turns out the trick works. Download

Media Management Software

Clementine: This simplistic media manager packs quite a punch beneath its plain demeanour. Clementine can play music in several audio formats from your hard drive or from several popular Internet radio stations. In addition, it has an audio converter built in, provides lyrics, artiste biographies as well as photos and can fetch missing album art/track information. Download

WinAmp Standard: The classic Windows music player has undergone a major overhaul to improve usability. Bringing all-new features such as wireless desktop sync for music transfer to and from select phones, iTunes library import and an improved user interface, this is definitely not the WinAmp player you used to know. Download

CopyTrans: If you own an iPod, iPhone or iPad, this software was made for you. The ultimate backup and recovery tool for all things Apple, CopyTrans literally saves a clone of the data and settings on your iDevice, making it easy to restore your iTunes library in the event of a hard drive crash. Think of it as life assurance without the hefty premiums. Download

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