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Business and Productivity Tools

Complicated but powerful, Pegasus has a sophisticated set of mail filtering tools.
Complicated but powerful, Pegasus has a sophisticated set of mail filtering tools.

Firefox Still using Internet Explorer? It's time you started using Firefox for most of your Web browsing--it's a faster, more secure, and more flexible Web browser.

OpenOffice.org Though it's a full-fledged, Microsoft Office-compatible word processor, spreadsheet, presentation package, and database, OpenOffice.org won't cost you one thin dime. It's solid enough (and sufficiently compatible with Office documents) that you may never have to invest in an office suite again.

ThinkFree Online Beta This office software, which runs in your browser, lets you edit Microsoft Office-compatible documents, spreadsheets, and presentations from any Internet-connected system. The programs are slow to load but work beautifully once they're running.

AbiWord If all you need is a word processor, try AbiWord, a lightweight and full-featured word processor that is compatible with Microsoft Word documents. It looks and feels a lot like Word, too.

Pegasus Mail A longtime favorite among e-mail power users, Pegasus takes a little getting used to--due to its many options and unconventional interface--but it provides a huge amount of control over your mail, including mail merges and a greater range of flexible filtering options than any other free e-mail client offers.

Thunderbird You may not care for Thunderbird's simple look, but its tight security and robust stability make it the top choice for managing e-mail on your PC.

Steganos LockNote Need to keep a secret? LockNote is a simple notepad with strong encryption. You set a password, and once you close the file, you won't be able to see the text (which is stored inside the Lock-Note executable file) without entering the password. And neither will anyone else.

Alleycode Here's a simple HTML editor for people who are comfortable with code but want some support for creating Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). Alleycode is not for novices, but it's efficient if you know your way around a Web page and need to do some quick editing.

Nvu Don't know much about HTML? Try Nvu, a sophisticated Web page editor that doesn't require any understanding of the underlying tags. What you see in Nvu is close to what you'll see in a browser.

SeaMonkey Mozilla.org's e-mail and browser programs have found new life in this suite of Internet tools, which includes a chat client and a capable HTML editor, and lets you sync your address book to a Palm device (see review).

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