Amazon’s 25 Software Bestsellers – And Their Free Equivalents

A few days ago, I was browsing through Amazon’s software category when I stumbled upon the . Intrigued, I took a look. Here’s the top twenty five when I found it (go ahead and check, it’s probably very similar right now):

1. (Windows)
2. (Windows)
3. (Mac)
4. (Windows)
5. (Windows)
6. (Windows)
7. (Windows)
8. (Windows)
9. (Mac)
10. (Windows)
11. (Mac)
12. (Windows)
13. (Windows)
14. (Windows)
15. (Mac)
16. (Windows)
17. (Mac)
18. (Windows)
19. (Windows)
20. (Windows)
21. (Windows)
22. (Windows)
23. (Windows/Mac)
24. (Windows)
25. (Mac)

Thousands upon thousands of dollars in software there – and thousands of copies are being sold each day. The amazing part is, for most of these pieces of software, there are free equivalents that do almost the same task. Let’s look at them!


… instead of , , , or
OpenOffice is a top-notch replacement for the features of Microsoft Office. It includes word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, and database features and works on both Macs and PCs. I use my copy almost daily!

QuickBooks Simple Start Free Edition 2009

… instead of or
Many small businesses dive straight into a paid copy of QuickBooks without even knowing if that’s what they need. Why not try out the free Simple Start version? If it works for you, it’s painless to upgrade later, and if not, you’re not out any money!

GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP)

… instead of
The GNU Image Manipulation Program is a fantastic tool for editing images. It can easily handle most of the tasks that Photoshop Elements can handle and exceeds it in many areas.

ZoneAlarm Free

… instead of , , or
ZoneAlarm is one of the first pieces of software I put on any Windows machine. It does a spectacular job of keeping viruses and other malicious software from communicating back and forth using your computer, keeping you and your data safe.

AVG Free

… instead of , , or
AVG is the best free virus protection package out there, perfect for most home users. If you’re concerned about viruses, this is a must-have.

Google Picasa

… instead of iPhoto/
Picasa helps you manage your images in a clever yet easy to use visual tool.


… instead of iDVD/
Sizzle is a great alternative to iDVD, helping you make DVD menus and such and burn them to blank DVD discs.


… instead of iMovie/, , or
ZS4 is an incredibly powerful video editing tool, enabling you to manipulate video files and combine them to make movies on your computer.


… instead of Garage Band/
While Audacity isn’t as full-featured as Garage Band, it does do a great job of simply recording your voice and your music. In fact, I prefer it for podcasting purposes – if you’re just getting started in recording, it’s likely that Garage Band is overkill and Audacity will meet your needs much better.

… instead of iWeb/
Wordpress lets you host your own blog for free. It provides a very simple user interface and a very clean display for your posts, pictures, and other materials.

Google Maps

… instead of
Google Maps can pretty much do everything that Streets and Trips can do. I’ve used it to plan every road trip we’ve taken in the last few years.


… instead of
VirtualBox does for free what VMware does at a cost – allows you to run Windows on a Mac.

Digital Dictation

… instead of
Want to dictate your words? Give Digital Dictation a shot before shelling out the money on expensive software. It does the trick for my (admittedly limited) dictation needs.

Ubuntu Linux

… instead of or
Ubuntu is nearly as user friendly as Windows, not nearly as prone to security holes, and costs nothing. What’s not to love?

Intuit Tax Freedom Project

… instead of
If you make less than $30,000 a year or are a member of the military, you can do your taxes for free!


… instead of
LiveMocha helps you to learn foreign languages online for free – no need to invest hundreds of dollars in Rosetta Stone!


… instead of
SugarSync provides all the backup support that individual people might need. Just get a backup drive and SugarSync and your data is safe.

You could shell out your hard-earned dollars for this software – or you could try out some free alternatives first and keep your wallet firmly in your pocket where it belongs.

Loading Disqus Comments ...