Software Information

Software info: Windows, programs, applications, web browsers and tools – freeware and shareware


This page – Page 1 – Software info – Introduction: Types of software
Page 2  – The history of Windows and 32-bit and 64-bit computing
Page 3 – Windows Vista, 7, 8/8.1,10 and free tools
Page 4 – Office suites/desktop publishing software – free and paid-for
Page 5 – Photo and video-editing software
Page 6 – Video-editing and parental control software
Page 7 – Personal finance and accounting software
Page 8 – Internet/web browsers

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Protection against malware –

System encryption software –

Software info – Introduction: Types of software

This section of this website is broadly devoted to the different types of software and deals with the operating system (mostly the various current versions of Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1 and Windows 10) and all of the various types of software that the operating system runs – web browsers, large applications, single programs and tools/utilities (both provided by Windows and third-party utilities), freeware and shareware software and the difference between them and the various types of backup and various methods of creating restorable backups.

Software problems

Because the range is so large, problems and solutions are provided in a separate section of this website – Software problems: How to fix problems with Windows, programs, and utilities. –…

Operating systems

A vital point to bear in mind is where you stand regarding your computer’s software, of which the operating system is the most important, because nothing can run or work without it. Note that all malware (malicious software), viruses, etc., is rogue software created by cyber criminals, hackers, etc.

Operating systems –

Software, including operating systems such as Windows and Linux, can be broken down into two broad categories – free and paid-for. Windows has to be paid for unless you use a pirated version, which is illegal and isn’t worth the problems that it can cause, but all unsupported distributions of the Linux operating system are free to download and install. Many of them, such as Ubuntu can be used to run the computer from the DVD (without being installed to the computer’s hard disk drive) that is created by burning the downloaded ISO file to a recordable DVD disc.

Beta test software

Beta software is test software being developed but has been released so that users can test it and report any bugs or the software itself can report any bugs to its developers while it is being used by voluntary testers. It can be free or paid-for. Microsoft’s Windows release candidate (beta) software can be free or paid-for. I can remember paying $10 for a Windows Vista release candidate that was the final one before the official release. Usually the very early versions are free. All of Microsoft’s test (beta) software expires after a certain period.


Much of the software that a typical home user requires can be obtained free of charge, including viable alternatives to the Microsoft Office suite of office applications, the latest version of which is Office 2013 and the annual subscription version called Office 365, such as the excellent LibreOffice from, which is a variant of OpenOffice that came about after Oracle purchased Sun, the developer of OpenOffice, which Oracle did not develop for a few years and has now passed it on to the Apache Software Foundation that has called it Apache Open Office.

Free software is usually called freeware or shareware.

Freeware –

Note that freeware is one of the most common sources of malware infections and often installs unwanted software that is installed by default unless the user sees the option not to do so and disables it. Many people don’t read what is being installed and get what they don’t need or want. For example, the free Adobe Flash Player that plays videos on websites usually installs the free McAfee SiteAdvisor by default unless the option to do so is disabled. Other freeware installs annoying search toolbars.


Shareware is software that can be used for a limited trial period before being paid for. Some shareware continues working if not paid for and may or may not produce nag a message asking to be paid for, other shareware disables features or stops working if it is not paid for. All of the major web browsers (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Opera, etc.) are free.

Shareware –

Free software –

PUP – Potentially Unwanted Program

Most freeware exacts some kind of price in the form of unwanted software or malware. PUP – Potentially Unwanted Program – is what the malware scanners call software that can be a nuisance. Here is what the security company, Malwarebytes, has to say about how it classifies PUPs:

Visit the PC Security section of this website for more information on it.

Click the following link to go to the CNET page of the most popular free downloads for Windows systems.

Most popular apps for  Windows –

There is plenty of free software of all kinds available on the web. To find it, start with the word free and add its type (image viewers, system/registry cleaners, backup utilities, etc.) to create a search query that you enter in a web search engine.


Page 2 >>> The history of Windows and 32-bit and 64-bit computing