I lately purchased a new laptop.  It’s a windows vista and took me quiet some time to install all the software I need to keep me going.
I can’t believe how useful it is in making me what I need to get done and yet it is free.

Here is my list:

Firefox 

I started using firefox a while ago when I found out that it offered a tabbed interface.
It is secure, loads fast, and has a great interface.

I do most of my browsing with Firefox. When I need to use ActiveX, or do any testing, I use IE as well.

Thunderbird 

Makes managing my emails easier. Use it on a daily basis when I am at home. Otherwise I use web mail.

Edit Plus

Edit plus is a very powerful text and html editor that help me stay on top of my documents. I specially like it’s search functions that allows searching text in files and directories using any key word phrases as search criteria. I also like the FTP feature that comes with it. Edit plus is not free, but they allow a 30 day trial period.

Snagit 

Fast, easy to use, and very handy in communicating any issue. Captures anything from your screen. I use it’s screen capture feature almost on a daily basis. This software is not free, however they offer free trials. If you haven’t used it, it worth a try.

Open office

A free alternative of Microsoft office. I use mainly it’s word processing writer application. Great interface, ability to create PDF files, and many more. If you have never used it, I recommend you give it a try.

Avast

Popular anti virus software that I lately started using. It load faster than others, is free for personal use, and does a good job alerting you when it encounters any malware or spyware. Check it out.

This is my little list, what do you think you can’t live without?