Recommended general-use software:
7-zip - For handling compressed files
FireFox | Chrome - Web browsers
Thunderbird | FoxMail | IncrediMail | The Bat! - email clients
VLC | Media Player Classic - Home Cinema - Multimedia playback software
FileZilla | FireFTP | Cyberduck | WinSCP - FTP clients
BitTorrent | uTorrent | Transmission | Vuze - BitTorrent client software.
GIMP | GIMPShop | Paint.NET - Raster/bitmap graphics editing software.
Inkscape - Vector graphics editing software.
Skype | Oovoo - Videoconferencing software.
OpenOffice.org | LibreOffice - Free office productivity software.
CDex | Exact Audio Copy | FLAC - CD-ripping/audio conversion software.
CDBurnerXP | ImgBurn
Adobe Reader | Foxit PDF Reader - PDF viewers.
CutePDF Writer - Free Virtual PDF Printer (for converting any printable document to PDF).
PDFSAM | PDFTK Builder - utilities for merging/splitting multi-page PDF documents.
Scribus - Layout & publishing software.
VirtualBox | Virtual PC - Virtual machine host software.
Swift To-Do List Lite | ThinkingRock GTD - Task Management (Getting Things Done) software.
Blender | Art of Illusion | trueSpace - 3D Modelling, texturing and rendering software.
ProTeXt - Windows TeX typesetting software.
Synctoy - Useful for synchronising files & folders between locations such as USB storage, SD cards, etc.
Picasa | Imagine - Image viewing & organising software.
DVDShrink | Handbrake | AutoGK - DVD transcoding software.
Notepad++ - Coding-oriented text editor.
Dev-C++ - C++ integrated development environment.
Secunia PSI - Scans system for vulnerabilities and out-dated/obsolte software installs.
HFSExplorer - Allows Windows users to open OS X volumes (DMG files).
Sysinternals - A collection of hugely useful utilities and diagnostic tools, including:
- Desktops - Tiny utility to allow you to have up to four desktops/workspaces at a time.
- Process Explorer - Shows detailed information about running programs, open files, open directories, etc.
- Process Monitor - Advanced monitoring utility able to show real-time file system access, registry activity, process & thread activity.
- Autoruns - Advanced utility to see everything that runs when your system starts up.
- Contig - Improved defragmentation utility with more options than the standard Windows defragmenter.
Virtual Clone Drive - Utility that creates a virtual optical device on your system for mounting & handling ISO images.
EasyBCD - GUI-based interface for manipulating the Vista & 7 bootloaders. (Free for limited non-commercial use).
cygwin - A collection of tools that act as a Linux API layer.
GSMART Control - GUI-based tool for querying/controlling SMART data on hard drives.
WinClone - An OS X application for cloning /backing up Windows partitions installed with Bootcamp.
RealVNC Free | UltraVNC | TightVNC - Clients for accessing systems remotely via network.
AVG Free | Avast! | ClamWin | Microsoft Security Essentials - Free anti-virus software packages.
ZoneAlarm Free | Comodo Internet Security | Online Armor Free | PCTools Firewall - Free alternatives to the Windows internal firewall.
Backup, recovery & maintenance tools/utilities:
GParted - Versatile Linux-based disk/partition management tool
Clonezilla | DriveImage XML | Drive Backup 9.0 Express | Easeus Disk Copy | Macrium Reflect Free Edition - Free backup & recovery utilities.
F-Secure Bootable CD - Free bootable utility for AV scanning & disinfection.
NTPasswd - Offline SAM editor for unlocking local accounts & resetting passwords for Windows systems.
PhotoRec - Data recovery software for recovering lost/deleted files.
DBAN - Darik's Boot and Nuke is a useful automatic secure disk deletion utility. Note - DBAN will wipe any hard drive installed in a system that boots from this disk.