Just finished building my new Vista 64 system and I could do with some advice on a security and Office application.
My system is running with only Vista 64 firewall in place atm so its only a mater of time before the internet gremlins get in. From what I've read most are 32bit programs which will provide security but will not run as efficiently as a 64bit program, but there aren't many of those around yet. I had a look on the Toms Hardware Vista security forum but traffic seemed a little light. One post mentioned a few software choices I was not familiar with: Avast, Panda, NOD32, AVG, Kaspersky. Now I have used Norton and McAfee products in the past. Norton Internet security (not sure which version) was provided free with my MB and I have two user accounts left over from McAfee 2006 v8.0. Would it be best to use one of these options as I have them to hand or should I consider getting something more up to date. I've read the latest Norton products are not as resource demanding as previous versions, but if one of the alternatives is significantly better I would consider getting that.
I found this post which seemed useful but I'm not sure that getting a 64bit security solution is the deciding factor. http://www.vistax64.com/system-security/145915-officially-tested-x64-security-software.html
From what I've read Office 2007 has a few user interface quirks that irritate people who are familiar with the previous versions. I also read this about Vista and I'm happy with that so far (used it for one week lol), so should I take these negative comments about Office 2007 with a pinch of salt? I have considered using Open Office but I'm not sure how its features and overall user experience compare with Office 2007.
And I'll comment on office. If your going to be buying a microsoft office product then yes office 07 is the best. But if you are willing to stray from microsoft branded products give open office a try. you should be able to google a good mirror to download it from and it's completely free.
For security I use Kaspersky Internet Security (latest Edition). It work flawlessly, both the AV and the firewall. To this you can add parental control, spyware detection, and a lot more. Great suit all in all, altough it feels a bit "heavier" then Avast that I used previously, but not enough to make my game lags . Considering that Avast was nothing more then an AV, it's understandable.
For an office application, I simply use OpenOffice, now at version 2.4 if I'm right. Switching from MS Office is without any problems. The only thing is that if you think you'll use your document on MS Office, you will have to manually change the format you save to. Not a problem for me, but still.
Try openoffice, it's openoffice.org. I have a legit copy of office xp sitting in my house unused because I prefer open office. For antivirus and security, AVG antivirus is free, light on the system resources, and with a free firewall like zonealarm, should be adequate for your needs.
I am flying basically naked, just using the built in firewall and Windows Defender.
I recently added Ad Muncher http://www.admuncher.com/ to get rid of embedded ads on various news (MSNBC) sites as well as to prevent popups, flyouts, slideouts and other crappy stuff when I visit my favorite Russian p_rn sites. Ad Muncher includes some spyware / adware detection and prevention and looking at the Ad Muncher logs it is apparant that Ad Muncher has kept some bad things from trying to load. One would assume that Windows Defender would have kicked in as well but never had the chance because Ad Muncher runs before the web browser.
By the way, I am bug free.
PS: I hate Office 07. Then enhancements are not better for my use and the static ribbon (taskbar) can not be customized.
AVG is by far the best 64-bit AV so far, I've had numerous computers come in with Mcafee, NAV (Not corporate which is still the very best), Kaspersky, and NOD, all with virus'. As soon as I've installed AVG, it caught all sorts of crap NON of the others saw.
If you can find a license to NAV Corp, go that route, absolutely no bloat-ware like the normal NAV, and it works flawlessly.
Use Openoffice like everyone else says, free is better! Unless you need to work with MS Office 2k7 files, then you're stuck as nothing really opens those yet that I'm aware of.
With Office 2007 documants, you need to change them to a .doc format in order to be modified or reviewed with previous versions. Also, with the free programs, you lose the ability to coordinate and merge databases with Access. There is a downloadable fix for 2000 & 2003 versions for the .doc issue.
You really need to look at your own functionality to determine what you can live with. If you're not working with others then the free versions may be fine for you.
I also use AVG for both spyware and antivirus but they too have become more invasive with newer editions. They're still better but the scans are definately taking longer with the newer editions.