If you want to use Microsoft Office on Windows and Mac desktops, it'll still cost you at least $69.99 a year for Office 365 Personal—and it's probably worth it for the power those programs wield. But it's not 100 percent necessary: the Web versions of Word, Outlook, OneNote, PowerPoint, Excel, Sway, and others all live for free at Office.com. You'll have to sign up for a Microsoft account to store files online using OneDrive (5GB are free). But there's no lack of free options if you can live without the full-test versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
Currently, many people use proprietary software that denies users these freedoms and benefits. If we make a copy and give it to a friend, if we try to figure out how the program works, if we put a copy on more than one of our own computers in our own home, we could be caught and fined or put in jail. That’s what’s in the fine print of the license agreement you accept when using proprietary software.
This could be the most high-end free software ever: it's the very tool used to render the images you see in Pixar's movies. That's because RenderMan was developed by Pixar in-house for that purpose, but became free for non-commercial use. It's not going to do you much good without other software such as Autodesk's Maya for creating 3D models. But budding artists and filmmakers will want to take note. You'll need a 64-bit system to run it.
This Web- and mobile-only tool from Intuit is a must have. It's not only the spiritual replacement for the Quicken and Microsoft Money of yore, it's a modern equivalent that takes the work out of finance. By linking up securely with your various online money sources, Mint.com provides a one-stop look at all your finances. You can ignore all the offers to make you more financially solvent with new accounts and credit cards, but who knows, one day you may see a deal that works.
A report by Standish Group estimates that adoption of free software has caused a drop in revenue to the proprietary software industry by about $60 billion per year. In spite of this, Eric S. Raymond argues that the term free software is too ambiguous and intimidating for the business community. Raymond promotes the term open-source software as a friendlier alternative for the business and corporate world.
Freeflys: Another strong contender in the freebies space, Freeflys has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, The Doctors, Fox News and a handful of other media outlets. Similar to most of these sites, Freeflys utilizes email alerts to tell users about free-sample offers as they happen. The site also allows you to search for a specific product with the handy search bar.