21. Adobe Reader - A PDF file viewer
From the creator of the Portable Document Format [PDF] comes a PDF file viewer that also installs as an add-on for your web browser. It lets you read and print from any system and any document created as an Adobe's Portable Document Format (PDF) file, with its original appearance preserved. The latest version is 9.1 and it can be downloaded from Adobe's official pages.
22. Windows Live Messenger - Instant messaging app, especially popular in business circles.
Formerly known as MSN Messenger, Windows Live Messenger is an instant messaging app with tons of features, currently designed to work with Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Mobile. In addition to its basic functionality and general capability as an instant messaging client, Windows Live Messenger offers the following features: sharing folders, PC-to-phone calls with Windows Live Call, Offline messaging, games and applications. It can be dowloaded from Microsoft's official pages.
23. Virtual CloneDrive - CD/DVD Emulator app
Virtual CloneDrive is one of those tools you can't live without. Image files generated with CloneDVD or CloneCD can be mounted onto a virtual drive from your hard-disk or from a network drive and used in the same manner as inserting them into a normal CD/DVD drive. It is pretty easy to use - just double-click an image file to mount as a drive. Additional features are: Supports all common image formats such as ISO, BIN, CCD; Supports up to eight virtual drives at the same time. It can be downloaded from SlySoft's download pages for CloneDrive
24. SpywareBlaster - Active prevention of Spyware/tracking exploits. Reccomended for use with Spybot - Seach & Destroy.
SpywareBlaster is one of those apps that just work - it prevents the installation of spyware and other potentially unwanted software [ActiveX-based spyware, adware, dialers, browser hijackers]. It can also block spyware/tracking cookies in IE, Mozilla Firefox, Netscape, and other browsers. It has built-in Check for Updates feature, to ensure your protection is up-to-date, and it includes a System Snapshot feature so you can take a snapshot of your computer in its clean state for eventually later changes. The latest version 4.2 adds Windows 7 support, Internet Explorer 8 support, K-Meleon support, faster updating worldwide and automatic program upgrade support (for AutoUpdate users).
25. Adobe Flash Player - Flash Player, features GPU acceleration.
This is the de facto a standard for multimedia and interactive content on the Internet. Flash Player works as an browser add-on that allows you to watch flash content inside your web browser. The latest Flash Player 10 introduces GPU acceleration, 3D effects, custom filters and effects, advanced text support, and more. You can download it from official pages
26. Ad-Aware Free - Yet Another Anti-Internet Vermin app. Debatable is it better than SpyBot+SpywareBlaster combo.
Ad-Aware Free gives you protection against spyware, trojans, rootkits, hijackers, keyloggers, and more with real-time monitoring, threat alerts, and automatic updates. It is an adware and spyware removal tool that scans your memory, registry, hard, removable and optical drives for known data-mining, aggressive advertising, and tracking components. It detects a wide range of adware/spyware related issues and can be updated with the latest signatures via the built-in update utility. The free version has limited real-time protection, only processes are scanned. The latest version can be downloaded from here.
27. AnVir Task Manager Free - An Alternative Task Manager, be warned - it wants to install a toolbar.
AnVir Task Manager Free is a replacement for the Windows 7 Task Manager that provides more detailed information about the processes running on your PC with an advanced startup manager. It removes spyware and trojans, speed up Windows boot time, increase PC performance, monitor and manage processes, services, startup programs, Internet connections, DLLs, drivers, locked files, automatically change process priority, permanently block undesired processes,light virus protection. It is fast and uses very little of system resources and it is compatible with all popular AntiViruses. It can be downloaded from the official AnVir download page.
28. Core Temp - Monitors CPU temperature from on-die sensors... for Intel CPUs only.
Core Temp is a small footprint program to monitor the CPU temperature, very popular with the overclocking community. It shows the temperature of each individual core in each processor in your system. You can see in real time how the CPU temperature varies when you load your CPU. It's also completely motherboard independent. In latest 0.99.4 version CPU detection, efficiency, speed, and clock speed detection are all improved.
29. ImgBurn - Think NERO is overbloated PoS [Piece of Software]? Try free, yet lightweight CD / DVD / HD DVD / Blu-ray burning application.
ImgBurn has several modes for various tasks: Read, Write, Build, Verify, Discovery. It supports a wide range of image file formats to burn or create - BIN, CUE, DI, DVD, GI, IMG, ISO, MDS, NRG and PDI. It can burn Audio CD's from any file type supported via DirectShow / ACM - including AAC, APE, FLAC, M4A, MP3, MP4, MPC, OGG, PCM, WAV, WMA and WV. Latest version 188.8.131.52 adds 'Change Folder' and 'Recent Folders' options to the destination (either file name or browse button) context menus in Build/Read mode, and option to automatically ignore errors during the verify process, and fixes several bugs from previous version.
30. Foobar2000 - Audio player, used to be a huge alternative to WinAMP
An advanced audio player for the Windows with highly customizable interface. Some of the basic features include ReplayGain support, low memory consumption and native support for several popular audio formats. The latest version 09.6.7 fixed crash issues when seeking in files that can't be decoded completely, corrected weird behaviors after restart and more.
This was the shortlist of mostly used applications here on Bright Side of News*. We hope that you'll enjoy installing and trying the software out. If you think that we skipped an application or two, please let us know at daniela [at] brightsideofnews.com. We appreciate your feedback.
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