I have used all the software listed here to one degree or another.
Unless indicated, these programs are free (and legal).
Helpful Software to Get Things Done
There are various Bible programs out there, but this is the one I have used for years.
A great set of productivity tools: word processing, spread sheets, desktop publishing, and much more.
Picture editor that is both simple and useful.
This player will play virtually any media file, plus is has many cool advanced features if you want to take the time to figure it out.
Backup is very important. This software gives you some flexibility but can be confusing.
Internet Security and Filtering
My current favorite virus software is built into Windows and integrates seamlessly with windows by leaving the user alone while working in the background.
Another good free Antivirus, but it occasionally bugs you to upgrade to the pay version (which adds unnecessary features). This is confusing to some, and I found a few were tricked into installing the free trial of the pay version then were confused when it stopped working after the trial period was over.
Another great scanning tool. I use this as a backup virus scanner when checking computers because it installs easily and works quickly.
General Internet Tools
A fast, simple, and clean internet browser. I currently use Chrome as my default browser
A great tool for communicating to others online (and also using Skype). Supports up to five in a conference call and one-on-one video calls.
For the more tech savvy
(more powerful but not as easy to use)
Advanced photo editing but takes a while to figure out.
Great for larger desktop publishing projects (books, etc.) but not too user friendly.
I will update this list periodically with other software that I find useful. If any of the links do not work, please let me know. Tip: take time to search around on the internet for good software, but do not be to eager to download and install everything you see. Always look for reviews and download from reputable places whenever possible.