Everyone likes free stuff. Here are some of the best, most well reviewed, free-est stuff you can download. No fees, registration, or strings.
Say you don't have Microsoft Word for whatever reason. Your computer didn't come with it, and you're cheap, or you're just not-that-into Microsoft products. Whatever will you do when you have to type up that resume for a job at Microsoft? Well have I got the solution for you (I do).
OpenOffice is a suite of everything you need to shove it in Words face. It has a power point editor, word editor, spreadsheets, database editor, and a little drawing program that does vector style graphics. All of this comes for free, and works as well if not better than it's Microsoft counterpart. I'm not sure why they put '.org' at the end of it. Maybe they just wanted their website to be memorable.
2. The GIMP
Photoshop is great and all. Actually it's pretty awesome, but so is the GNU Image Manipulation Program. It has the most important tools from Photoshop, and you can download user scripts to make it do all sorts of neat tricks.
3. VLC Player
Everyone should have this. It's a video player that plays just about everything you can throw at it. Even if it can't, it will at least try, and go down fighting. It doesn't have any unnecessary bells and whistles to slow it down, or get in your way.
4. Google Earth
Ever want to see the roof of your house? Of course you have, but ladders are dangerous and planes take time and money to learn to fly. Enter Google Earth. If you haven't heard of it you've almost certainly seen it, as news channels often use it to show where an event has gone down. You can zoom from a total view of the planet down you your house and car. It has everything google maps has, plus topographical data, 3D buildings in major cities, and plugins. There are plugins that let you track flights, cruises, or just tell you interesting tidbits from around the world.
This program will make you feel insignificant. You can zoom from earth, out to the moon, past the sun, past alpha centauri, betelgeuse, and out to see the whole Milkyway. It has accurate locations of many if not all known planets, stars, asteroids, and other cosmic bodies. There are a ton of plugins for this one too. Many of which add more satellites, better textures, or even the Millennium Falcon, or a borg cube.
6. Electric Sheep
This one is a screen saver. Not a boring old warping cube, low-res 3D maze, or picture slideshow. This one connects your computer to millions of other computers around the world. Each one has their say in an algorithm that manipulates patterns and effects that are quite pretty to behold. You can vote on which ones you like with keystrokes, affecting the outcome of new 'sheeps' as they're called.
There are tons of free programs out there, for just about every use. Audio, video, art, you name it. This is just a small portion of whats on the net.