I make a huge effort not to install shareware or freeware on my PC. It’s not just a stance of principle, I honestly believe that I can get by with an almost 100% Microsoft software environment.
Until recently for Internet security I had to look elsewhere but this was also a purchased product and my preference over the last few years is Panda Platinum Internet Security Suite. I am so happy with it that I have yet to even look at Microsoft’s latest offering as an alternative.
However, once in a while a real killer app comes along and you just have to use it. In 1998 I was working at Ben Gurion Airport as part of the BG2000 Airport project and my boss, Eric pointed me in the direction of IrfanView. This sweet little program is a one-stop dashboard for almost all graphics, video and sound files. In addition it has a series of basic edting features for graphics and some other really excellent features.
Simply put, I have yet to find any app out there that can compete and I have been installing this. (When you install it don’t forget the download for the plugins.)