(This is part of a year long series of resource reviews I've been doing. 52 resources in 52 weeks. You can see all the reviews in one place here)
Free Serif Software - High quality free software for desktop publishing, drawing, photos and more
OVERALL - A chance to download top quality software for no cost. Serif Software is based in England and makes the previous generation of their software available for free. A great selection of programs including Photos, Documents, Web Sites, Art, even Crafts and Scrapbooking.
WHAT'S IT ABOUT? Why use something other than the latest and greatest? The simple answer is that most of us don't need the latest and greatest. Add in the budgetary restraints most of us work under and this is a great solution. I've been using PhotoPlus, PagePlus and DrawPlus for the last several years and really like them. If you want the latest versions they are very versatile and usually cost much less than the big name brands. There's also pay versions of things like video editing software too.
RESERVATIONS The one thing you don't get is the manual so there's certain element of trial by error. I've found most of the functions I've needed fairly quickly however and have started branching out into more complicated work.
RECOMMENDATION It's very high quality and it's free. What more needs saying?