Excellent FreewareThe following is all FREEWARE
Before you try the following excellent freeware apps, you might want to install Total Uninstall, an uninstaller that scans your hard drive/registry before and after installs so that it can uninstall every last bit of a program, good for people that like to keep their system spotless.
TugZip - In my humble opinion, the best freeware archiving utility for windows. 7-Zip is a nice alternative.
Foobar - Incredible low system usage audio player, good for people that might think Winamp is too bloated.
DIRMS and Buzzsaw - incredible defragmentation tools, DIRMS is a standard defragmenter that does a much better job moving the files close together in order to maximize free HD space. Buzzsaw is an On-The-Fly defragmentor that defrags in the background when the cpu is idle.
GAIM - incredibly smooth instant messenger that can use the AIM, ICQ, IRC, and other protocols all at once. With tabbed windows $$
GIMP - Probably the best freeware image editting app on the planet. Perfect for people that cant afford too buy photoshop and are too noble to pirate it.
X-Chat - excellent freeware IRC client
RegscrubXP - Incredible freeware registry cleaner, highly recommended (tried to link to the home site but it was down )
Media Player Classic - Beats the hell out of Windows Media Player
Quicktime Alternative - Great for when you need to watch quicktime files but dont want their bloated player on your computer
Real Alternative - Great for when you need to watch realtime files but can't stand their bloated player
Zonealarm Personal - The best freeware firewall, especially if you're a novice at dealing with these types of applications
Ad-Aware SE - The BEST spyware cleaning tool, hands down
Spybot Search and Destroy - The second best spyware removal tool
Javacool SpywareBlaster - A program very similar to the immunization feature in Spybot only with a much larger database
Sysclean - Incredible emergency anti virus scanner, no install, and everything can fit on a floppy, great for when a machine is so infected that you cant even get an active scanner up and running (NOT MEANT AS A STANDALONE ANTIVIRUS SOLUTION)
Avast! Antivirus - My personal favorite freeware virus protection suite, however, it seems most everyone else prefers AVG!
Open Office - Incredible freeware alternative to Microsoft Office
Microsoft Powertoys - OS customization tools Microsoft has made for more advanced users
Aqua Dock - (once again couldn't find homepage) - An OS X style dock for Windows XP, pretty much a direct rip of YzDock
And of course, if you dont know about Firefox and Thunderbird by now you are probably don't have a computer