As I have said, I am very passionate about free software. But to completely make the change towards a completely free operating systems is like starting to swim at deep water, if you have not swum before. Not always a good idea. So there are some software, that is both “free as in freedom” and “free as in free beer” that you can try out if your operating system is Windows or Mac.
Here are different categories of free/open source software that you can use in your Windows or Mac operating system:
LibreOffice is a great replacement for office software, such as Microsoft’s proprietary Office software. This includes the programs you need to write documents, spreadsheets and databases (and more). It is stable, and was initially forked from OpenOffice since Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems.
Chromium is a web browser on which Google Chrome is based. It is quite fast, and includes an “app-store” of its own. Here you can view a comparison of different browsers, and as you can see, the Chromium-based browser is, accordingly to that survey, the best.
I was quite blown-away when I heard that there was free music software, about two-three years ago. But I think of this as a blessing to us musicians who have wanted some good software to write music with.
MuseScore is WYSIWYG-software. And in my opinion quite impressive, too. MuseScore makes it possible to collaborate with other score-writers through the net, where you can publish your scores if you want to.
LMMS is a neat tool for making studio software. You could have a synthesizer which is connected to your computer and save your songs with it. If you would like to have some track where you sing or have otherwise recorded a track, you can use Audacity to record your track(s).
Try these programs out, and you probably will find out that you like some of them.