what alternative IDEs are available ?

I have not been able to get the official IDE to load on a windows computer for probably over 2 years.

I tried platformIO and it is still is a very new stage of development.

is there a list of programs that actually work on a windows PC for those of us who cannot get the official IDE to run ?

obviously, it has to be stand-alone and not use the official IDE in any way.

The other two popular ones are Eclipse with the Sloeber plugin and Atmel Studio with the Visual Micro plugin.

Another option is the Arduino Web Editor.

Another option is to run arduino_debug.exe from the command line and post the output here so we can help you get the real Arduino IDE working.

Perhaps we should debug why you can't get the IDE to load?