9 Free Microsoft Products That Rock

by Jenny Hansen


Microsoft has some new, updated and FREE products that I am over the moon about. Some of them I’ve heard of because I’m in their Microsoft Office Insiders group, but many of them I’ve been using for years. I wanted to be sure y’all got to see the coolest ones all in one place so I poked around until I found this article from TechRadar on the 75 best free PC software downloads from Microsoft.

The nice part about the TechRadar article is it describes each product and provides a download button. The downside is that it’s lo-o-o-ong. So, I’ll give you my own personal favorites from their list and let you start from there.

1. Microsoft Office Web Apps (Office Online)

By simply logging in with your Microsoft ID, you get access to the core features of Office Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote for FREE through your web browser. This is one of Microsoft’s biggest giveaways and I never hear about anyone using it. All I can say is, you’re missing out.

5. Free Microsoft Office Templates

I use these inside of Word and Excel, and even PowerPoint ALL THE TIME. They’re free and they give me ideas. Plus there are tons of them. Just visit the Templates section of the Office website to find scores of categories, covering all of the major Office applications. I usually get to them from inside the Office apps with File, New…

18. Microsoft OneNote 2013

OneNote 2013 is Microsoft’s answer to Evernote on the Mac, although they’ve both been around for a decade. OneNote is like combining all your Post-Its, folders, photos, links and files into one place. To-do lists are easy and it interacts with all the Office apps. It’s also available on all iOS products and on Androids. My husband and I use it for our grocery and Christmas shopping. OneNote is simple to use, and everything is synced with the cloud, letting you access and edit your notes on a variety of devices. I Heart OneNote. So, so very much.

33. Skype

Yes, Microsoft owns Skype now, and they’ve added on several improvements I really like. I adore that it ties in with Facebook now, as well as my Microsoft and old Skype contacts. that means, it’s an easy thing to pull my Facebook peeps into a chat. Skype can be access from any computer (Mac or PC), as well as phones and tablets.

35. Movie Maker

I haven’t used this program yet, but after checking out the article at the top of the post, I plan to try it out. My kid is starting to get involved in sports so you can bet there will be photos and video clips that need to be made into a movie, and I’d rather try it for free. Plus these movies can be put on YouTube or burned into a DVD. Sign me up!

54. Fresh Paint

My daughter has a grand time in this program, which is free on Windows 8. Whenever I need to keep her busy for an hour, I let her create in this program on our Surface Pro. There are choices of paints, canvas type and brushes to make originals, but she has a blast tracing over photos of herself that we can import.

57. Insomnia

One more thing I learned from the TechRadar article. I cannot WAIT to try this. Their description: “This tiny free tool does one thing, and one thing only: when you open the program, Insomnia prevents Windows from going to sleep. If you’re about to download a large file or burn a DVD and you don’t trust your computer to stay awake during the process, this is really handy. Just launch Insomnia and the problem is automatically solved.”

65. OneDrive for Windows/Mac

With 15GB of storage automatically, OneDrive completely rivals DropBox or Google Drive. The advantage to me is the interaction with Microsoft Office and the free access to create Office Online docs. If you are running the newest versions of Windows – 8.1 or above – OneDrive is integrated into the platform and can be mapped as a network location. Regardless, it can be opened on any device or web browser and I use it on my Android all the time.

Plus one more product so new you probably haven’t heard of it — Sway!

Sway is like PowerPoint with a creative designer flair. It’s free, and it’s easy – their waiting list is open right now and it takes them about a week to approve your request. Basically, Sway gives you the ability to scrapbook on the computer. Change backgrounds or layouts, add pictures or text or videos and behold…you have a Sway. Here is a “book trailer” I made for a friend of mine to show her the program that took us about 2o minutes to create. At least 10 of those minutes were because she wanted to see everything two or three different ways.

Are there any free products that you can’t live without? Share the wealth with the rest of us at at the #SocialIn hashtag on Twitter or SocialInDC on Facebook!

~ Jenny @JennyHansenCA

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About Jenny Hansen

By day, Jenny provides training and social media marketing for an accounting firm. By night she writes humor, memoir, women’s fiction and short stories. After 18 years as a corporate software trainer, she’s delighted to sit down while she works.

When she’s not at her personal blog, More Cowbell, Jenny can be found on Twitter at JennyHansenCA or at Writers In The Storm.

© 2014 Jenny Hansen. All content on this page is protected by copyright. If you would like to use any part of this, please contact me.

Photo credit:Mike Mozart – Flickr

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