Well it’s sort of free. The idea is that you’ll donate to these hard working individuals. Fight the software monopolies! Did you know that there was alternatives to some of the top software that you pay for on a donation basis. How can this be true? See for yourself:
Microsoft Word / Microsoft Office
Check out NeoOFfice (http://www.neooffice.org) if you don’t want to make microsoft any richer. Keep in mind that it’s not the exact same software, just that it is an alternative. Try it out and see if it works for you.
Now that Adobe has taken over Macromedia it sure feels like all the design software comes from the same place. Check out these alternatives:
nVu – (http://www.nvu.com/) A WYSIWIG editor like Dreamweaver – sort of. It doesn’t seem as powerful or user-friendly, but it is an alternative.
Aptana – (http://aptana.com/) Although it doesn’t have the WYSIWIG editing, I have come to favor this software over dreamweaver. It’s clean and simple, and you’ll be forced to improve your coding skills.
Yes, there’s even software out there that does something like Photoshop. The installation seemed more time consuming than what I had for patience available so I haven’t actually tried this. The software is called GIMP (http://www.gimp.org/)
A way to upload and download files from web-servers.
Check out fireFTP that works with the Firefox browser (http://fireftp.mozdev.org). It’s not quite as nice as CuteFTP, but you also don’t need to run extra software.
No, Google does not have a free alternative. In fact, most of Google’s tools are free. They will up coming out with web based versions of some of the mentioned software. It should be interesting. Be sure to check out Google Earth if you have not already!