When you download these programs, how do you do it?

Do you get a message window asking what you want to do with the download before it starts downloading? ie, it may ask, "do you want to Save to disk, or open?"

Do you save it to your hard disk in a temporary folder, or do you choose open?

If you choose open, then as soon as the download is finished Windows will attempt to use the default program to open it with.

If you choose Save to disk, then when the download completes, it will just sit there in the folder you downloaded it to, until you decide to open it. This second choice is by far the better one, because then you can scan it for viruses before you open it. Something you should do with every downloaded file.

What happens when you open a word.doc from your computer? Does Microsoft word open it or does Windows Media Player try to open it?

If Microsoft word opens it, then I don't see why WMP would attempt to open a newly downloaded file.

If WMP tries to open it, then it would seem that somehow your operating system has "associated" WMP with word.doc files.

You can check this. Find a word.doc, (goto Start > Search, and search for *.doc files). Choose any .doc file, right click it, and choose "Open With" in the menu. See what program Windows lists as possible programs to open the file. If Microsoft Word is the first on the list, then .doc files are correctly associated with Microsoft Word, (and so again I don't understand why WMP should try to open it).

If Microsoft Word is not in the list, click "Choose program". Scroll down until you find Microsft Word, highlight it, then make sure the "Use this program to open all files of this type" is ticked, then click OK. That makes Microsoft Word the default program for this type of file.

Do the same for all other types of files you are having difficulty with, re-associating them with the correct program for the file type.