We recently sailed the perilous seas of pirated Windows software and brought to you the Top 5 Most Pirated Windows Software. Of the 5 (and the bonus) that made the cut, there are thankfully very few that don’t have Free and Open Source alternatives you can download and use in a legitimate manner. So here we go:
Windows 10 goes for $199 to purchase with the option of a free upgrade for those currently Windows 7 to 8.1. So far, users with pirated copies have been able to upgrade as well but who knows for how long they can count on Microsoft’s generosity. The best free alternatives out there happen to be Linux distros with Ubuntu a head above the pack. Ubuntu has clean OS X-like looks, is easy to use and has extensive software repositories to choose from. Our pick nonetheless would have to be Linux Mint. Mint simplifies the transition from Windows by keeping everything where you’re used to as it was modeled after Windows XP and 7. Both Linux Operating Systems are free and come ready to use out of the box bundled with a media player, productivity software (LibreOffice), a browser (Firefox) and a bunch of other stuff. As far as free lunches go, this is a 5-course meal you can enjoy without the anxiety of a bill once you’re done.
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To think that Office Pro 2016 is priced at $399.99; now that is just sad. Microsoft’s Office Suite is the most extensively used productivity software worldwide mostly as people don’t know any better. So if you are the moral type who won’t download something you honestly haven’t paid for, cheers! There are options tailor made just for you.
LibreOffice like most software included in this writeup is free and Open Source. LibreOffice can basically do everything MS Office can do though it automatically saves in the .odt format versus the .docx we are accustomed to. Not to worry, you can save in whatever format you are comfortable with even .doc and the documents are perfectly readable anywhere.
Not working for you? You can still use Google Docs or Microsoft Office Online supporting Word, Powerpoint, Excel; the whole shebang. Google Docs, despite the name offers Word, Spreadsheets and Presentations automatically integrated into your Google account which comes in handy. No wonder it has been a hit with users. Microsoft Office online for it’s part is impressively a complete desktop MS Office replica that saves your documents to OneDrive as you work. And you know what? Both are totally free!
What Microsoft hasn’t told you yet is that much as they slap a scary price-tag on their desktop productivity software, they have gone ahead and released a free Office Suite for Android, iOS and Windows Phone on top of providing free Office Online. Google Docs is no different from using your desktop software and actually has the option to edit files offline. With this in mind, do you really need to hack MS Office to begin with?
Gimp (Alternative to Adobe PhotoShop)
We scoured the Internet for a free possible alternative for the Adobe Suite and we are sorry to report, we didn’t find any suite that comes even close if at all they do exist. Of the products provided by the suite, only Gimp came close to Adobe PhotoShop in offering advanced image editing capabilities albeit being a tad less intuitive. GIMP stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program. A skilled PhotoShop user might actually find GIMP easy to use from experience but it’s a bit of an uphill climb for a novice.
Inkscape on the other hand is modeled after Adobe Illustrator and is a powerful tool for vector imagery that uses scalable vector graphics (SVG) format for the images. Like Gimp, Inkscape is cross-platform, free and Open Source.
Free Download Manager (Alternative to IDM)
On one hand, you could knock yourself out downloading hacks of Internet Download Manager (IDM) but be sure you will be wading through a sea of malware masquerading as Pro versions of your popular downloader. Or you could try out our downloader pick, the Free Download Manager. While FDM can handle regular downloads, it also doubles as a torrent downloader and can also fetch Flash video while it’s at it. For free software, the odds are in FDM’s favor over the massively hacked non-free IDM
What you may not be aware of is that Windows Defender is your very own in-house Anti-Virus solution that comes pre-installed on your Windows OS and for the most part is capable of getting the job done for free. And it keeps getting better. Granted that Defender is regularly updated, it should suffice.
However, for those not yet sold to Microsoft which hasn’t had a good track record in terms of virus detection, Avast Free Anti-Virus and AVG Anti-Virus Free are highly spoken of. These particular software have solid free editions for home use that are more than up to the task of keeping your PC in tip-top shape without having to install their hacks
Bonus: 7Zip File Manager
For all its popularity, Winrar has nothing on 7Zip, an open source file archiver/manager highly rated for its high compression ratio. It might not look like much on the outside but competence has never been measured on looks. 7Zip’s 7z file format is considered better at compression than zip format and also has self-extracting capabilities. The existence of such a powerful and totally free file manager negates the need to use hacks like Winrar Pro. So why bother? Going legit is the way to go. Tell a friend