Tags Posts tagged with "Microsoft"

Microsoft

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Windows 7There’s much anticipation for Microsoft’s next operating system release, Windows 7. Enthusiasts are still speculating on the official launch date, and as of writing, there is no official word from Microsoft. Below is a list of new features that enthusiasts can look forward to enjoying, most of which are confirmed in the current pre-release version that is nearly at a "feature-complete" state.

User interface Features

User interface features affect nearly every user.  While it is not the most important part of an OS, user interface features often go a long way towards the impression of an OS, and will likely draw many comparisons to other Microsoft operating systems.  Windows 7 comes with a stylish end-user interface. You can expect icons to respond with quick animated movements, which is done to enhance the user experience. So far, compliments for the speed and ease of use of the user interface have been dominant for the new OS.

The desktop is clearly much cleaner and better organized, and comes with docking options that are similar to the Mac’s OS.  New applications and improvements to existing applications have been added as well. For example, you will find the calculator to be much improved and more powerful. It supports real life conversions and calculations, like weight and length converters.

If you are in the habit of placing sticky notes all over your monitor and work area, you will surely welcome the new stick notes application that comes with the desktop. You can stick as many virtual notes on your desktop, and delete them as you work. Now your workstation will certainly look cleaner and more organized. You are also saving trees by using less paper!

A new version of Windows Media Center will also launch with this release. New gadgets are being integrated into the Media Center and Windows Explorer. Gadgets are standalone applications that sit on the desktop (some are hosted on another server). There are web gadgets, sidebar gadgets, and sideshow gadgets (run on external displays).

System Performance Features

Windows 7 now offers support for virtual hard disks and boasts improved performance on multi-core processors, improved boot performance, improved SSD support and performance, and improved kernel performance.  Obviously, performance is a key goal for Windows 7.  With the current pre-release version, even at an unfinished state, it appears that Microsoft is doing extremely well in achieving this goal.  The pre-release version tested is remarkably stable and offers noticeably better performance than Windows XP with the latest hardware.

If you visit the control panel, you will find that many new items are added, including Accelerators, Display Calibration Wizard, Gadgets, Recovery, Troubleshooting, and more. Windows Security Center is now known as Windows Solution Center, and it is responsible for maintaining the security of the system.

Unique Features

The touch screen feature is a new and unique feature that enables many interesting touch applications. For instance, you can have a touch app that works exactly like a keyboard. This means you can type an entire document without the use of an additional piece of hardware. You can also use this feature to play the piano or do a painting. The feature is something that has not been previously available in earlier versions of the Microsoft OS.

Other unique features include speech and hand writing recognition. Hand writing recognition technology can help convert human handwriting into digital text.

Developer Features

Developers can look forward to using a new networking API to develop SOAP based web services in native (or machine) code. There are also new features that reduce application install times. Development of installation packages is simplified in the new OS as well.
 

Below we have included a list of applications that we have tested extensively and found to be of the highest quality. This collection is certainly not meant to serve as a comprehensive listing of the best software, but it focuses on a few of the applications we believe to be very high quality in their corresponding categories. Much like the list of recommended Firefox extensions, this collection is a live list, that will be adjusted over time.
 

Graphics

IrfanView

IrfanViewIrfanView is a free, small, and fast image viewer that can handle virtually any image file format (some require additional plugins). It offers an arsenal of image manipulation features (crop, resize, color adjustment, etc.), as well as a multitude of special features usually found only in expensive packages. There are too many to list here, but some of the best features include complete effects (sharpen, blur, etc.), paint capabilities (draw on images), desktop/window capturing, thumbnail viewer/creator, multimedia player, batch conversion (optional image processing), support for Adobe Photoshop filters, and many plugins available to add even more features.

 

Internet

AI RoboForm Pro

RoboFormAI RoboForm is a powerful, yet easy to use password manager and web form filler that automates password management and form filling. It can save passwords, log in to sites automatically, fill long registration and purchase forms with a single click, encrypt passwords for security, generate random passwords, and much more.

  • Website: Visit Official Site
  • Price: USD $29.95 (Free Version Also Available)
  • Developer: Siber Systems, Inc.

 

CuteFTP

CuteFTPCuteFTP is an intuitive application for transferring files between a PC and remote server via the FTP protocol. Features include an easy-to-use interface, connection wizard, automatic-transfer-resume functionality, Turbo Transfer, transfer queue, built-in HTML editor, advanced search capabilities, backup for a local machine to a remote server, directory comparison, custom commands, firewall and proxy support, path bookmarks, and filtered listings.

 

FeedDemon

FeedDemonFeedDemon is a free, easy-to-use RSS feed reader that makes it quick and convenient to stay up-to-date with the latest news and information. The software is highly customizable, including the way feeds are organized and displayed. Custom news watches based on keywords can be setup, and podcasts can be easily transferred to portable audio devices.

 

Group Mail Business Edition

Group Mail Business EditionGroup Mail Business Edition is a feature-rich, powerful, and flexible email marketing application that allows users to send bulk email with ease. Options are provided to ensure rapid mailing as well as address validation, group merging and purging, backup, Habeas support, and more.

 

Mozilla Firefox

FireFoxFirefox has now become established as an exceptional web browser. Due primarily to its extension capabilities, we highly recommend use of Firefox. In addition to the comprehensive extension support, Firefox also offers fast browsing, browser tabs, pop-up blocking, advanced privacy and security, smart searching, and more.

 

Mozilla Thunderbird

ThunderBirdMozilla Thunderbird is a free, open source, cross-platform e-mail, newsgroup, and RSS feed client that offers a simple solution for online communication and information retrieval. The software is also highly customizable and expandable via a massive collection of available extensions.

 

MozyPro

MozyProMozyPro is a software/service combination that provides secure, enterprise-level online backup via a highly customizable, powerful, yet easy to use software application.

 

NewsBin Pro

NewsBin ProNewsBin is a multi-threaded news robot that automatically downloads and decodes binary posts from Usenet newsgroups. The software takes full advantage of high-bandwidth Internet connections with multiple, simultaneous connections to news server(s). NewsBin offers resume functionality to recover from lost connections. It can also reassemble multi-part posts across multiple servers and provides a thumbnail display when downloading images. Additional features available include Internet and local search, built-in RAR file handling, SSL support, NZB message ID file support, and advanced connection management. The settings are a bit daunting, but once configured, it provides the very best solution for binary newsgroup access.

 

PocoMail

PocoMailPocoMail is a powerful email client that offers many useful features, such as strong spam filtering, flexible message editing, and ultra-fast search capabilities. PocoMail’s greatest strengths are PocoScript, the advanced filtering capabilities, events, and Message Templates. PocoScript allows for pre- and post-processing incoming and outgoing mail in virtually any way imaginable. It also store a message in a temporary file for processing by an external application, and notify upon completion. Filtering allows messages to be processing in many different ways based on any defined criteria, such as directed into different folders based on the recipient email address. Message Templates are pre-defined blocks of text that can be quickly and easily inserted into messages via a context menu or hotkey, which is very useful when you have to reply to the same questions a lot of send repetitive bits of information. The text inserted can be customized before sending, of course, to more closely fit any particular case.

 

Trillian Pro

TrillianTrillian is a full-featured, skinnable IM client that supports AIM, ICQ, MSN, Yahoo Messenger, IRC, and Jabber/GTalk (via a plugin). It offers features that are not possible with original network clients, while supporting standard capabilities, such as file transfers, audio chat, group chat, chat rooms, buddy icons, server-side contact importing, typing notification, direct connection (AIM), proxy support, encrypted messaging (AIM/ICQ), SMS support, tabbed chatting, system-tray notifications and alerts, and privacy settings.

  • Website: Visit Official Site
  • Price: USD $25.00 (Free Version Also Available)
  • Developer: Cerulean Studios

 

Multimedia

AnyDVD

AnyDVDAnyDVD is a Microsoft Windows driver that provides decryption of DVDs on-the-fly, as well as targeted removal of copy prevention and UOP. AnyDVD runs in the background, making discs unrestricted and region-free. In addition to removing digital restrictions, AnyDVD also handles Macrovision analog copy prevention.

 

Blaze Media Pro

Blaze Media ProBlaze Media Pro is a powerful all-in-one audio and video converter for CD, MP3, WAV, WMA, OGG, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, AVI, WMV, MOV, Flash (SWF and FLV), iPod, PSP, 3GP, etc.; editor; recorder; CD/DVD ripper; audio, video, data CD/DVD burner for DVD, VCD, and SVCD; and more.

 

ChrisTV PVR Professional

ChrisTV PVR ProfessionalChrisTV PVR Professional is a highly configurable TV/video capture and PVR application that provides high quality image and sound output. The software supports all TV cards based on the BT8x8, Philips SAA713x, and Conexant CX2388x chipsets as well as TV cards with MPEG hardware encoder functionality. A few of the supported devices include the Hauppauge PVR series, Leadtek PVR2000, and ATI TV Wonder cards, and it also works with Web cams and graphic cards. Features include multi-tuner support, time-shifting, advanced recording settings, advanced scheduler, recording profiles, FM radio support, channel autoscan and fine tuning, support for the DScaler deinterlace DirectShow filter, and zoom functionality. ChrisTV can also broadcast your favorite TV shows, movies, and radio stations to friends through local networks and the Internet. ChrisTV supports MPEG-1/2 and AVI recording (using any audio/video codecs).

 

Replay Media Catcher

Replay Media CatcherReplay Media Catcher is a streaming video and audio/music downloader that allows users to easily download virtually any type of online video, including YouTube video. It can also capture streaming MP3 files, automatically name and tag songs and video files, edit and change MP3 tags, extract MP3 tracks from FLV video files, and more. Recording can be performed with a single click.

 

Replay Video Capture

Replay Video CaptureReplay Video Capture is an easy-to-use screen capture application that creates high-quality videos from anything you can see on your PC screen, including website content, any streaming video protocol, DVDs, Webcam sites, PowerPoint presentations, Skype video conversations, video chat sessions, and more.

 

TMPGEnc Xpress

TMPGEnc XpressTMPGEnc XPress offers video conversion for many formats, including MPEG-1, MPEG-2, DivX, AVI, QuickTime, MPEG 4-ISO, H.264, DVD-Video, DVD-VR, HDV camcorder, and Blu-ray discs. The powerful software provides features for cutting and extracting video selections as well as video filtering and effects. TMPGEnc XPress will also be among the first video encoders to utilize GPU acceleration.

 

Productivity

OpenOffice.org

OpenOffice.orgOpenOffice.org is an open source productivity suite that serves as a replacement for Microsoft Office. It contains the same basic feature-set, but saves you hundreds of dollars since it is free. With that being said, OpenOffice.org does not include the grammar checking, macros, and a replacement for Microsoft Outlook. However, it does offer PDF output, Writer macros (Writer’s own macro and scripting feature), smaller file size documents than Microsoft Office, and simplicity. The suite includes Writer (replacement for Word), Calc (replacement for Excel), Impress (replacement for PowerPoint), Base (replacement for Access), Draw (replacement for Visio), and Math (replacement for Equation Editor).

 

Utilities

Autoruns

AutorunsAutoRuns displays the programs that are configured to run during system bootup or login. These programs include those in the startup folder, Services, Run, RunOnce, and other registry keys. Users can highlight a startup item and click the "jump to" button to launch Regedit at the location the selected entry is specified. In addition to startup programs, Autoruns also displays a list of Services, scheduled tasks, Winsock providers, Internet Explorer BHOs, and more that can all be enabled/disabled with ease. 32-bit and 64-bit versions are both available.

 

CCleaner

CCleanerCCleaner is a freeware system optimization, privacy, and cleaning tool that removes unused files from your system, which allowing Windows to run faster and frees up valuable hard disk space. It also cleans traces of your online activities, such as Internet history. Additionally, it contains a full-featured registry cleaner. The tool is fast and easy to use.

 

CPU-Z

CPU-ZCPU-Z is a handy tool that provides quick, convenient access to a load of information about your system. Information available includes CPU details (name and model, core stepping and process, package, core voltage, internal and external clocks and clock multiplier, supported instruction sets, cache information), motherboard details (vendor, model, and revision, BIOS model and date, northbridge and southbridge chipset and sensor, graphic interface), memory (frequency and timings, module(s) specification using SPD (Serial Presence Detect): vendor, serial number, timings table), system (Windows and DirectX versions), and more.

 

Dependency Walker

Dependency WalkerDependency Walker is a free utility that scans any 32-bit or 64-bit Windows module (exe, dll, ocx, scr, sys, etc.) and displays all of its dependent modules. For each dependency located, the application lists all the functions that are exported by that module, and which of those functions are actually being called by other modules. Another view displays the minimum set of required files, along with detailed information about each file including a full path to the file, base address, version numbers, machine type, debug information, and more. Dependency Walker is very useful for troubleshooting applications that will not start or system errors related to loading and executing modules. Dependency Walker detects many common application problems such as missing DLLs, invalid modules, import/export mismatches, etc.

 

Directory Opus

Directory OpusDirectory Opus (DOpus) is an extremely powerful and highly customizable file manager application that features single or dual-panel display, folder tree (either shared or two separate for dual-display), tabbed explorer panels, built-in ZIP and RAR processing (browse files as if they were folders), built-in FTP support (can be browsed in the same fashion as local folders), built-in image viewer, comprehensive file selection and renaming tools (with advanced regex support), configurable toolbars, menus, file types, and file type groups, preview panel and thumbnail previews (including video), and file collections (virtual folders that contain links to the original files, but allow direct access to the source files. Directory Opus can replace Windows Explorer, including Windows shell connections.

 

EVEREST Ultimate Edition

EVEREST Ultimate EditionEVEREST Ultimate Edition is an advanced benchmarking and diagnostics tool that helps users maximize security, performance, and trouble-shooting capabilities for home and home office PC environments, PC Professionals, and consulting firms. It offers comprehensive system information as well as system stability testing and more.

 

Foxit Reader

Foxit ReaderFoxit Reader is a free, light-weight PDF reader that is quick to load and easy to use, without sacrificing features. Foxit Reader offers annotations, text conversion, privacy and security options, bookmarking, multi-tab support, callouts and text boxes, commenting, rulers and guides, magnifier, automatic scrolling, and more.

 

HWMonitor

CPUID Hardware Monitor HWMonitor is a handy tool that provides comprehensive information and monitoring for the CPU, motherboard, video card, memory modules, hard drives, and more. 32-bit and 64-bit versions are both available.

 

Process Explorer

Microsoft Process ExplorerProcess Explorer is a free Windows Task Manager replacement that offers features above and beyond the standard Windows utility. It can be set to show much more information about running processes, such as start time, file version, window title, the .dll’s they have loaded, highlighting (such as for distinguishing services), and much more.

 

Remind-Me

Remind-MeRemind-Me is a simple, easy-to-use tool that is designed to store and present reminders of important events before they pass. Remind-Me handles holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, and any custom event (one-time or reoccurring). The software’s interface is shown in the form of a list or traditional calendar. Reminders can be shown when the computer starts or any pre-defined time. Remind-Me can play a custom sound or send email when a scheduled time is reached. The program is customizable to function the way the user wants. The program minimizes to the system tray so that it functions constantly, out of the way.

 

TweakUI

TweakUITweak UI is a free user interface customization application released by Microsoft to help with customizing the Windows operating system. Although it is not supported by Microsoft, Tweak UI offers a more convenient way to adjust settings that would otherwise require manual registry editing. Most significantly, the software enables users with older, slower systems to turn off components of the operating system, such as menu fading, drop shadows, and cursor shadows to improve performance. Tweak UI also includes many features for customizing the way various aspects of the Windows interface function, such as the taskbar, desktop, and start menu. The program also allows users to move the location of special folders in Windows, such as My Documents, Music, and Pictures, as well as other system folders. It also offers tools that help users repair components of the Windows operating system, such as icons, hotkeys, the font folder, and file extension associations. Tweak UI can be used to disable AutoPlay on one or more drives as well. Tweak UI provides the capability to set up Xmouse for those familiar with the X Window System.  Note:  This tool is for use with Windows XP.  It is not designed for Windows Vista.

 

Type Pilot

Type PilotType Pilot is a simple tool that helps users input frequently used text quickly and easily via a pre-defined trigger word. Once the trigger word is typed, Type Pilot automatically replaces it with the corresponding phrase or paragraph. Type Pilot is useful for writing standard phrases, such as signatures, email addresses, URLs, phone numbers, addresses, frequently used sentences, letter templates, etc. The program will work with any text editor. The software’s tree-like interface structure makes it easy to keep information organized.

 

VMWare Workstation

VMWare WorkstationVMware Workstation is a virtual machine software suite for x86 and x86-64 based computers that allows users to setup multiple x86 and x86-64 virtual computers for application usage, software testing, or any other operation where it is practical to have a fresh system to use or a system at a certain state. Each virtual machine can be configured with its own guest operating system, hardware components, disk space, RAM capacity, etc. In short, VMware Workstation allows one physical machine to run multiple operating systems simultaneously with any desired hardware configurations and software installed. It is also easy to revert a virtual machine back to a previously saved state.

 

Web Development

Adobe Dreamweaver

Adobe DreamweaverAdobe Dreamweaver is an industry-leading web development tool that provides users with an intuitive interface for web page design and maintenance, but also allows access to advanced features and the latest technologies for those that want to utilize them.

 

HTML Search and Replace

HTML Search and ReplaceHTML Search and Replace is a handy, powerful tool for webmasters (or anyone that needs search and replace functionality within text files of any format) that offers advanced search capabilities and the option to replace any amount of text in multiple documents with ease. Folders can be processed, with or without subfolders included. The software includes a built-in offline browser for previewing files before and after adjustments and an internal editor with HTML syntax highlighting.

 

Web Site Promotion

Advanced Web Ranking

Advanced Web RankingAdvanced Web Ranking is a search engine keyword ranking, analyzing, and research tool that helps web site owners determine current rankings for any number of web sites. The software also functions as a link popularity analyzer, assists with manual submission to over 400 search engines, and helps users find relevant link partners.

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