Recommended software comprising 1 operating system, 2 suites and 34 programs.
Free software is in red. My personal favourites here are foobar2000 and µTorrent.

Basics

Operating system – Windows 10
Browser – Chrome with Adblock Plus
Audio – foobar2000 [screenshot]
Video – VLC media player
Antivirus – ESET NOD32
BitTorrent – µTorrent (version 2.2.1)
Create / extract archives – WinRAR

Audio

Make audio CDs – EZ CD Audio Converter
Rip exact copies – Exact Audio Copy [guide]
Copy CDs – Nero Micro
Burn cue sheets – Burrrn
Stream music – Spotify
Stream music from your PC – Subsonic
Transcode FLAC to MP3 – foobar2000 with LAME encoder
Tag and rename – foobar2000 with MusicBrainz tagger
Edit – Audition (lightweight alternative: Audacity)
Capture – Replay Music

Suites

Office 365 Home:

Word processing – Word
Spreadsheets – Excel
Presentations – PowerPoint
Email – Outlook

Adobe Creative Cloud:

Graphics – Photoshop (lightweight alternative: Photoshop Micro)
Vector graphics – Illustrator
Desktop publishing – InDesign
Website design – Dreamweaver
Video production – Premiere Pro
Create PDFs – Acrobat

Productivity

Team communication – Slack
VoIP calls – Skype
Text editor – Notepad++
Clipboard manager – Ditto
File hosting – Dropbox
File search – Everything

Protocols

FTP – FileZilla
SSH – PuTTY
IRC – mIRC (techie alternative: screen & irssi through PuTTY [screenshot])
NNTP – Agent

Disk drives

Mount – Virtual CloneDrive
Burn – ImgBurn
Back up – Syncovery
Recover lost data – R-Studio

Miscellaneous

Facial enhancement – PortraitPro
Watch live sport – SopCast with MyP2P
Video editor – VirtualDub
Firewall – ESET Smart Security
Blogging – Windows Live Writer
File verification – QuickSFV


An addendum for non-software recommendations:

Audio

Headphones – Audio-Technica ATH-M50XMG
Mobile phone – HTC One M8 with giffgaff
Sound card – M-Audio Audiophile 2496
Computer speakers – Audioengine A2
Hi-fi system – Grahams
Blank CDs for hi-fi system – Taiyo Yuden

Networking

Domain names – Portfast
Shared hosting – Mythic Beasts
VPS – Jump Networks
Dedicated server – Bogons (enquire directly)
Router – Netgear R7000
Broadband – Virgin Media

Downloading

Seedbox – Whatbox
Music / Software – What.CD
TV – BroadcasTheNet
Films – PassThePopcorn