Once you’ve got your new Windows desktop or laptop, you will need to install some software on it. But with so many different programs available, where do you start? Let’s take a look at the best software to install on your new Windows PC.
AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition (www.avg.com)
With new viruses emerging all the time to attack Windows machines, you need a good anti-virus package to protect you from infection. At the same time, you want to choose anti-virus software that doesn’t slow down your computer too much. AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition is lightweight yet effective. Install AVG as soon as you connect your new Windows PC to the Internet to avoid virus infection.
Google Chrome (www.google.com/chrome)
Chrome is a faster and lighter free alternative to the standard Internet Explorer browser that came pre-installed on your Windows PC. Chrome uses Google, the world’s most popular search engine, as standard. There are many extensions that you can add on to improve your browsing experience if you want to, but the default Chrome interface is uncluttered and easy to use.
Adobe Flash Player (get.adobe.com/flashplayer/)
Flash is used on many websites, including YouTube, to play videos and run interactive applets. If you already installed Chrome, Adobe Flash Player will have been automatically integrated with your browser. If you are using a different browser, you can visit get.adobe.com/flashplayer/ to see whether Flash is active and download it if it is not.
Adobe Reader (get.adobe.com/reader/)
You will need to install Adobe Reader to open and view PDF files. If you want to edit or create PDF documents, you might want to consider purchasing Adobe Acrobat, but the free Reader software is adequate for most people’s needs.
Microsoft Office (office.microsoft.com)
Microsoft Office is a comprehensive suite of productivity software. It includes programs such as Word, Excel and Powerpoint, which are used to create files in the standard .doc, .xls and .ppt formats. It also includes Microsoft Outlook, an integrated email client and calendar, which is incredibly useful for organization and communication. Microsoft Office is standard software for many PC users, but it is pricey: if you are on a tight budget you might want to consider the free alternative described below.
Open Office (www.openoffice.org)
For those who are put off by the price tag of Microsoft Office, Open Office is a free alternative. Although there are occasional compatibility issues when working with complex files, Open Office is usually able to open and edit all files created in Microsoft Office. You can save your files in standard .doc, .xls and .ppt formats so that Microsoft Office users will be able to open and use them.
Skype makes it possible for you to keep in contact with friends and family no matter where they are in the world. You can hold audio or video conversations over the Internet with other Skype users for free, or purchase Skype Credit to call landlines and mobiles. Using Skype instead of your landline or cell can deliver huge savings, which is why you should consider installing this free software.
Your new PC will probably have Windows Live Messenger already installed. However, if you’re looking for a lighter IM client that allows you to speak to all your AIM, Yahoo Messenger, MSN, Google Talk and Facebook contacts through one integrated buddy list, Pidgin is what you need. Pidgin is free and simple software that leaves out the annoying ads that bombard Windows Live users.
Installing Software on Your New Windows PC
When installing software on a new PC, it pays to be careful. Always read notifications carefully to make sure that you are not installing bloatware or unnecessary toolbars along with the software you actually want. Only install software from trustworthy sources, such as the sites given above, to avoid being infected by viruses or malware.
James Hesse contributed this guest post on behalf of iWeb-ftp.co.uk – who run an FTP Service. David is a freelance technology writer. He has a penchant for all things new. His articles appear on various technology blogs.
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