We're big fans of Microsoft's latest OS, but we're also big fans of making Windows better. So we've rounded up the 11 best Windows 7 downloads.
5 essential Windows 7 downloads
If you use Windows 7 regularly, you've probably heard about these standbys - and maybe you've already grabbed one or more. Here are five must-haves that can help any Windows 7 user make the most of the OS.
Wondering whether your older PC has the hardware power to run Windows 7? Don't gamble on upgrading--before making your decision, run the free Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor. After you download the tool, make sure that you've connected all of your peripherals to your PC and turned them all on so that the app can give you an accurate report. It checks your processor, graphics subsystem, hard disk, and peripherals. It also examines the software you're running; if you have older programs, it tells you if upgrades are available to make those apps compatible with Windows 7.
Windows 7 has one big, fat hole: It ships without an email program. But Microsoft's Windows Live Mail , which is part of the Windows Live Essentials 4 download - a free, downloadable email client optimised for Windows 7 - is surprisingly powerful. It can access multiple email accounts, and it works with Hotmail, too. Additional features include a photo email capability, which lets you embed pictures inside a message and then add borders and captions - it's almost like sending a photo album. The program handles RSS feeds as well, and it offers spam filtering, the ability to create rules, and solid ways to organise your mail.
In the move to Windows 7, Microsoft also pulled the Windows Photo Gallery. To replace it, however, also included in Windows Live Essentials 4 is the free Windows Live Photo Gallery, which is even better than the version built into Windows Vista. The program makes it easy to browse through and view all your photos, as well as to share them online and via email. It sports a nice set of photo-editing tools for handling tasks such as eliminating red-eye, cropping, and correcting colours; or, if you prefer, you can use the Auto Adjust feature to make photo fixes with a single click. Also nifty is the app's ability to stitch together multiple photos to make a single panoramic view. Among other extras are functions that burn a CD full of photos or help you post a photo to your blog.
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