Software Can Be Pricey, But Some is Free

Thursday, July 23rd 2009, 6:27 pm
By: News 9

By Joel Craig, NEWS 9 Contributor

Everyone is looking for ways to save money. Whether it's making coffee at home or bringing your lunch, most of us have learned there are ways to save that aren't painful. The same applies for software on your computer.

Before you spend several hundred dollars on software there are two Web sites you should check out.

The first one is This Web site offers various types of free software, known as "freeware," for you to download. Freeware is often written by computer enthusiasts and distributed by various means though the internet. The freeware home site offers software for business, education, photos and graphics, home and hobby and much more. provides links to download sites maintained by other people.

The other Web site is According to OpenOffice, they are the leading open-source office software suite for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases and more. The suite provides an alternative to Microsoft Office's Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, and other programs.

They say it matches the level of functionality with Microsoft Office. The suite works on all common computers using Windows, Linux or Mac - their Web site will tell you which versions. It stores all your data in an international open standard format which can also read and write files from other office software packages. Best of all it can be downloaded and used completely free of charge for personal, school or business use.

A general word of caution, before you go running around online looking for free software, remember not all software you can download is safe. Make sure you have your anti-virus software running and be sure it stays updated.

Also if the Web site or the program starts asking for too much personal information, do not continue. Abort the operation and delete anything that was downloaded.

You can save money, just be wise with what you choose.