I recently had to format my hard drive. That means I had to back-up everything on my computer that I wanted to save, and then I erased everything including Windows so I could start fresh. Doing this is a wonderful way to make your computer seem brand new. Its refreshing, but it takes a lot of work and time.
As I was reinstalling Windows operating system, I was thinking about all of the different programs that I needed to reinstall. As I thought about it, I realized that a majority of the things I do these days is on the internet. AND, I realized that if I were someone who didn't need a few very specialized programs, I could virtually achieve all I need to do on my computer without installing any extra programs on my computer at all. AND for those things that I did need to install, the software is all FREE, whereas in the past, you would have had to pay for all of it.
You can use Google Docs to create, upload, and maintain your Word type documents. Google also has a spreadsheet utility for Excel files. If you feel brave, you can even let Google store all of your documents online so they are available at any place and anytime there is internet access. This negates the need to buy Microsoft Office.
You can download Picasa from Google to do editing and resizing of your photo's for the web. You can get prints, send photos in email, and even post your pictures directly to your blog using Picasa. You can store ALL of your pictures online at Google Pics. This negates the need for hard drive space and a photo editor.
Google's GMAIL email program lets you consolidate your email into one spot. You can get all of your email forwarded to your GMAIL account, and also send the email back out with the correct email alias. This negates the need to have Microsoft Outlook installed.
Google Calendar helps you organize your time, can give you alerts when events are coming up, and synchronize with other Google account users. How cool is that?
Yes, Google is wonderful. I recommend you explore it a little and see what else it has to offer. You can get an account here if you don't have one. Can you see why Microsoft should be worried? Their latest failure with Windows Vista combined with a bunch of free software that is now free and doesn't have the Microsoft name should make them nervous. But, watching them, you would never know they even care.