Freeware Bundles A Hit With System Builders

Apps such as Microsoft Office, Norton AntiVirus and Intuit Quicken are commonly available on brand-name PCs. Luckily, system builders can turn to the open-source world to bundle similar apps and more.

One great example is Open Office, a freeware suite that offers impressive compatibility with all of the leading Microsoft Office apps. Open Office includes a word processor, a presentation app, a spreadsheet, a drawing package and a database. The 75-Mbyte download can be found at

Another area that merits software bundling is security. When building a Windows-based PC, the first thing a systems integrator should address is how required patches are applied. They should consider downloading the free version of Microsoft AntiSpyware, which prevents malware from entering a system. Other free spyware removal and prevention tools are available, including Lavasoft&s Ad-Aware-SE (">) and Spybot Search and Destroy (

But security is more than just preventing adware and spyware infestations. System builders will need to counter threats such as viruses and worms. Avast 4 Home ( offers all the necessary features to protect the typical stand-alone PC from viruses. Avast also offers low-cost upgrades to business versions of its antivirus products.

Sponsored post

System builders also can focus on bringing additional value to their offerings through applications such as personal finance or accounting software. Money Manager from TheZeal is one example of a basic app that keeps track of checkbooks, credit cards and other finance-related activities.

Finally, remote-control apps such as TightVNC ( offer technicians the ability to remotely troubleshoot a machine, while also allowing users to remotely access their desktop PC.

By combining these products, system builders can offer a value that equals or exceeds tier-one vendors& offerings. Just focus on the features offered and the low costs associated with those features to help sell the complete package.