Mobility is a big deal for people, and laptops are there to increase our physical freedom in daily life and office work. Of course, you absolutely will not be able to make use of the laptop's full capacity if you don't have the necessary software for daily use.
- Operating system. No computer will obviously work without an operating system. This is for the management, coordination, and sharing of resources of one's computer. Most people use different versions of the Mac OS and Microsoft Windows.
- Office productivity applications. This is to enable you to make simple word documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and email messages. You can choose from the two most popular office applications at this present time: Microsoft Office and OpenOffice.
- Internet browsers. This provides the framework of your Internet access and use. You can select from Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Apple Safari, Google Chrome, and Opera.
- Firewall applications. This prevents unwanted access by people who make a quick buck out of your information and documents. McAfee, Zonealarm, and Spybot are most used, and easy to use for novice computer users.
- Antivirus and anti-spyware software. This is to protect against, prevent, detect, and remove malware, viruses, worms, and Trojan horses that are harmful to your system and documents. Commonly used antivirus software includes McAfee VirusScan, Norton Antivirus, Avira, BitDefender, and AVG Antivirus.
- Instant Messaging Applications. This allows you to chat easily with family and friends. MSN, Yahoo, and AIM are the common messaging services used by most people.
- Audio and Video Media Players. These applications allow you to listen to music and watch video files on your laptop. Windows includes their version of Windows Media Player, but you may have issues with some codecs. Some people use Winamp Player for their music and video needs, but there are other options, which provide a much larger array of video support. Examples of these are VLC Media Player, QuickTime Player, and K-Lite Codec Pack.
- Adobe Flash and Shockwave Player. A lot of online multimedia content now comes in this format, especially streaming videos.
- CCleaner. This is to clean up your system after unwanted software installation and purge useless data out of your system.
- PDF Reader and Writer. This application will enable you to secure the documents you send out with encryption.
- CD/DVD burning applications. This enables you to create copies/backups of your files. You can use the software bundled with the optical drive.
- Download Client. This is for easier downloading and management of files from the internet. The software depends on the type of your download. For HTTP, Direct and FTP downloads, Free Download Manager is a great tool as it accelerates your downloads and can resume broken downloads. FDM also supports BitTorrent protocol but µTorrent and BitComet are best to use for the peer-to-peer file sharing protocol.
These are only recommendations on what to have installed on your laptop computer, but at the end of the day, the software you install on your computer should enhance the efficiency of your work and personal life. After all, laptop computers are there to make things easier and more mobile for you.