Microsoft alternative programs
Like you didn't see this coming. Most of the stuff I put on here is good freeware, possibly open source too. It's not gonna have gaping security holes to fill every 48 hours.

Software Type Name of prog OS usability/License
OS Win2K (or XP pro for those who like the new style Windows) Win2k: ~200, WinXP Pro: ~250

Yeah, there's not much getting around Windows, especially if you're into PC gaming. Go for 2000 if you don't need the look and features of XP or have an older computer. A good amount of the time, you may be able to just use a downloadable Linux distro. Check for a decent size list of distros up for download. Linux is catching up to Windows, keep your eye on it.

Internet Browser Mozilla Firefox / Free

Imports settings from major browsers, internal popup blocker, RSS support (Live bookmarks), skin and extension support, tabbed browsing, more.

E-mail Client Mozilla Thunderbird / Free

Imports Outlook (Express), Eudora and Mozilla mail and settings, RSS reader, self-adapting junk mail filter (based on what you mark Junk), skin and extension support, more.

FTP Client FileZilla / Free

Site manager, quickconnect, SSL support out of the box, multiple downloads, etc.

Office Suite I think open gives it away (OS)

Completely free Office suite, including Word processor, spreadsheet, HTML editor and presentation. Can save in MS Office's formats for compatibility (e-mailing to someone, and it's smaller than when MSOffice saves it for some reason), but I recommend their XML-based format for your use, as it's a smaller file size. If you want to have some fun, open the files saved by openoffice in an archive utility. You can see the 'code' for your doc

Audio Player Winamp 5.04 Freer than smoked pie. (Win32 only)

Yeah, I said 5 sucked. I lied. If you get full and install only the stuff 2 had (some of the new plugins are kinda nice btw, like the queue function) it's just like 2.

Video Media Player Classic OMG, Sourceforge again.

FINALLY, A video player that doesn't suck and that you can use .mp4 and .rm files on. Grab this (it's kinda big) and install only the MP4 related crap. MPC should then play .mp4 files nicely. if the audio doesn't play at first, just stop/play and it should work.

Notepad Metapad Free. (Win32 only)

Yes, even Notepad can use a replacement. Has lots of useful things in it. Comes with "open with Program" (HTML or VB/JS scripts), transparent mode (2K or XP only), and always on top.

File Sharing BitTorrent (BitSpirit for one that manages downloads) or Shareaza All Free

The official client (the BitTorrent link) is written in Python, so it's cross-platform. Shareza is Win32 only and good for quick 1-file grabs. See the bottom for *good* torrent sites.

Video Encoding VirtualDub Free

This has TONS of features for video editing. You have to look through the prog for everything. BTW, I use DIVX Codec to encode video with.

Archive Utility WinRAR Shareware, but you can use the free indefinitely

Here's the deal: they pop up a window saying to buy, but you never have to. The only feature you can't use is something normal people don't have. I've modified the EXE to remove this window flawlessly. I will put up the latest version soon.

IM Software

Trillian Basic (All 4 major IM services and IRC from one prog)

Free, Trillian Basic is also free, make sure to get 0.7 Patch I. It has all the patches that make Yahoo & MSN work.

Trillian is AIM, Yahoo, MSN, ICQ and IRC chat all in one and is skinnable. The downside for some people is that Trill's MSN engine is only at version 5 type MSN.

MP3 Encoding ISG (a front-end for the DOS encoder LAME) Both free. The DOS one is open source

Got Wave Files? Throw them through here. There is batch encoding and tag writing support built in.

Any additions you think are worthy of overthrowing MS? Let me know so I can check it out!

 BitTorrent Site Links

Now that you're here, you might want to invest in a LARGE hard drive. I haven't done BitTorrent too long, so I only have a few sites (some are trackers that show the listing)

Site Descript.ion Unlicensed anime can be found here. Tracker site with a buncha music.
BoxTorrents Tracker page with some anime stuffs. Has complete series, OSTs, manga, etc.
TorrentSpy @ SourceForge If you didn't get the clue, this is open-source. This prog lets you see into a torrent to know how many seeds/downloaders are on a torrent. (Trust me, you want dem seeds)