With the App store and other PC outlets providing access to thousands of new programs, it begs the question: how many apps is too many? For us, it all depends on what you do with your computer and what kind of programs are necessary to optimize both your personal and professional life. Here's our personal take on the question...
Overall, I've got about 25 apps installed on my MacBook Pro. They include Microsoft Office 2011, Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, to other image editing and sketching programs. I don't play a lot of games, but I do have two installed (Civilization V and Angry Birds). There are also a bunch of smaller utilities like Coconut (to monitor my battery), Things (productivity), and trackpad apps to improve the overall usage of it. Remember if you want to remove apps from your Mac, check out the app remover apps that we've found and the traditional way to do so in OS X.
On my PC, it's the same story. Some programs from Adobe and Microsoft, as well as the minimum that allows me to work on it. It's important to keep programs and apps at a minimum, because if you've got too many installed, it will slow down your computer significantly.
1. Toolbars I stay away from toolbars. I don't like cluttering up my browser and there are a few toolbars that are actually malware. The only toolbar I have installed is the Delicious toolbar that comes with the Firefox extension.
2. Image Edition & Creation Since I need to edit and create images for work, I've got quite a few programs installed that do this. From Photoshop to Pixelmator, I like having options.
3. Utilities This includes virus scanners and DVD creation software, as well as archivers and other programs that serve a well defined purpose. Keeping only one of those installed at a time helps to not have too many apps.
4. Games I haven't installed many games, but that's because I have an Xbox 360. However, when I do have games, I tend to have one or two installed at a time. Once I've completed it, I erase and uninstall it.
5. Apps While apps is the catch all term for all types of programs, I consider apps smaller programs that help out after a fashion, whether it's help move around the cursor on my Mac to monitoring the behavior of my video cards.