PortableApps.com provides a truly open platform that works with any hardware you like (USB flash drive, iPod, portable hard drive, etc). It's open source built around an open format that any hardware vendor or software developer can use. What I like is that you can fire up your own Web browser from your thumb drive, and not leave any of your Internet tracks behind on that public computer. Just make sure you leave with your Flash drive. Don't forget about it and leave it plugged in, or you're asking for some serious trouble.
As you can clearly see, PortableApps is portable software that runs from a USB Flash drive, but it is so much more than that. PortableApps.com includes an entire Suite of great software which is entirely free, and the Platform is free. It contains no spyware. There are no advertisements. It isn't a limited or trial version. There is no additional hardware or software to buy. You don't even have to give out your email address. It is 100% free to use, free to copy and free to share. I use it and it seems almost too good to be true. The software is indeed Open Source, and the applications that come bundled are such big names as Mozilla Firefox Portable Edition, Mozilla Thunderbird Portable Edition, ClamWin (antivirus) Portable, Pidgin (instant messaging), Sumatra PDF Portable, AbiWord Portable (word processor), and the outstanding OpenOffice.org portable office suite. Quite a collection, and it is all free to run from your thumb drive. There is even a PortableApps Backup application that you can use when you install the Platform.
You have three options for downloading and installing: Platform Only (1 mb download; 1.2 mb installed), Suite Light (35 mb download; 100 mb installed), and Suite Standard (113 mb download; 350 mb installed). It is recommended that you don't try either of the suites on less than a 250 mb Flash Drive, but with today's thumb-sized drives clocking in at 2 gb, 4 gb and more, that should be no problem at all. Here is the complete list of Portable Apps, so give it a try and see if it changes the way you do your mobile/portable computing.
Web Site: http://portableapps.com