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Post Info TOPIC: Free Software vs. Fee Software

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Free Software vs. Fee Software

It's a fact: the best software out there is powerful...and expensive. There's a reason Adobe can charge between $299 and $1,000 for a box that contains a suite of powerful tools, such as those found in Photoshop CS5. It's what the pros use, and it's what the pros' boss can and should pay for to get the best work done. Same goes for everything from productivity apps to video editing to simple computer security. If you pay, you're better off. Right?

Well, we do have a lot of Editors' Choice winners here at and not all of them cost money. In many cases, these choices are absolutely free. Here's a run down of some of our favorite for-fee software that have no-cost competition.

Image Editors
FEE: The field of image editing is loaded with free tools that take on the big guys. Those big guys include not just Photoshop CS5 (5 stars), but products like Lightroom 3 ($189.89 street, 4 stars), Corel PaintShop Photo Pro X3 ($99.99 list, 3.5 stars), and Apple Aperture 3 ($199 direct, 4.5 stars). At the bottom of that list is Photoshop Elements 9 ($99.99 list, 4 stars), Adobe's low-end picture editor and organizer.

FREE: How does Elements 9, in particular, measure up to free software? Compare it to Paint.NET (free, 3.5 stars), which is Windows only and offers just about all the same features but does NOT have photo organizing integrated. Couple that with Picasa (free, 4.5 stars, Editors' Choice) and you've got a killer mix that costs you nothing. Picasa itself also has some modest photo-editing features, plus the latest version integrates tightly with Picnik (free, 3.5 stars), the Web-based image editor Google purchased last year. With this threesome, you have all you need to take care of your ever growing library of images, without spending a dime.

PC Mag has the details HERE!

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