This is a quick page that I intend to expand into a full section on free software for Windows and Linux. For the time being, until I get everything sorted, I'm just placing a few old favourites here.
OpenOffice is a fully featured free alternative to Microsoft Office. Even though it may not have all the bells and whistles of MS Office, for free, you just don't get any better. A complete suite composed of word processor, spreadsheet, database, drawing and presentation tools. Can output to PDF without needing a PDF printer driver. Only thing it doesn't do right now is read the new Microsoft XML-based formats very well (e.g. docx). But then, anyone who saves in that format is being slightly inconsiderate anyway, as even if you do have an earlier version of Office, you still need to download a converter from Microsoft.
The GNU Image Manipulation Program or GIMP is a fantastic tool for editing photos and pictures. It's capable of most of the advanced image editing an ordinary mortal could want. Excellent for splicing the heads of your work colleagues onto another photo. Grin. It's been confirmed that the 2.8 version will have an updated interface as well.
A free desktop publishing (DTP) package that has some impressive features. I admit I need to play with this program more to find out the extent of its capabilities, but what I've seen so far, I like. PDF export (I'm a fan of PDF, can you tell?), some nice tools and of course, cross platform.
Inkscape is a vector drawing program. I'm not much of an artist but it's a really nicely presented program, and even I could master a few of the basics. Recommended for the budding artist.
Guess what? Yup, this site was uploaded using FileZilla, a great FTP program I've used for years. If you're developing a website or just downloading from an FTP site, this is a safe bet.