Microsoft not only developed expensive software packages like Windows and Office but also provided much more exciting small tools as free of charge into the Internet. Tuning tools, security software, photo applications, tutorials, desktop gadgets and a lot of interesting freeware programs can be obtained without charge. Here some are listed with a brief description:
Games for Windows – LIVE
Do you know the free “Games for Windows – LIVE”? It enables the game PC gamers to create a service designated as a gamer card online player profile and play on this with other PC or Xbox 360 cross platform players and chat. It helps to receive automatic game updates and patch downloads for the installed games.
“Microsoft Mathematics” is a comprehensive tool for calculating scientific functions. Only recently, the program is completely free and with a new name (previously Microsoft Math) available for download
Mathematics offers a scientific calculator that plots in 2D and 3D, step-by-step equation solving. Complicated formulas can be entered via the integrated handwriting-practice is therefore a possible link to Microsoft Word.
Supported Operating Systems: Windows 7;Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2;Windows Server 2008 R2;Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 2;Windows Vista Service Pack 2;Windows XP Service Pack 3
Download: Microsoft Mathematics (32 bit)/Microsoft Mathematics (64 bit)
Those who want quick access by Clicking instead of long-Marathon Start menu, Windows Explorer and Co. on programs and documents, use Microsoft’s “Speed Launch”.
Developed in the Microsoft Office Labs, it allows setting shortcuts to programs and documents manually. It is therefore possible to assign multiple files and programs a shortcut.
BgInfo is a very interesting system information extractor and display it directly on the Windows desktop, saving you from having to use complicated diagnostic tools.
BgInfo displays relevant information about a Windows computer on the desktop’s background, such as the computer name, IP and MAC address, memory usage, network connection or use service pack version. BGInfo knows what’s happening on your computer now.
Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit
Microsoft “Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET)” protects users and administrators of programs against potential vulnerabilities.
The big advantage is that the security software is designed So that the protective mechanisms may be activated later for existing binaries. A new translation of the source code is not necessary; thereby EMET Can provide protection for any executable files.
HTML5 Extension for Windows Media Player
Microsoft offers a free browser plug-in for download, that enables Firefox users to play H.264-encoded videos on HTML5 pages by using the built-in capabilities found in Windows 7
Downloads: HTML5 Extension Firefox plug-in Chrome Windows Media Player HTML5 Extension
Windows Service Pack Blocker Tool Kit for Windows 7 SP1
The automatic installation of “Windows 7 SP1” can be prevented with the Windows Service Pack Blocker Tool Kit.
Users who don’t want SP1 will be able to simply disable automatic installation (AU). Many businesses, however, prefer to keep AU on, but block the service pack so they can first test to make sure it works with all their software.
The tool is valid for 12 months following general availability of the service pack.
Download: Windows Service Pack Blocker Tool Kit for Windows 7 SP1
The free software from Microsoft allows you to create a virtual hard drive on one or more disks.
Thus, the test virtual machines a breeze, and error will lead to no harm.
Windows 7 Demo
The demo of the latest Microsoft operating system “Windows 7” also has to managed in the charts.
The now very popular operating system eradicate from the disadvantages of Vista, and offers good performance.
Download: Windows 7 Demo
WebMatrix is a web development tool of Microsoft that includes open source web applications, built-in web templates etc. It’s simple and free.
Supported Operating Systems: Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows Vista SP1, Windows XP SP2+, Windows Server 2003 SP1+, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2
Attack Surface Analyzer
The Free Software “Attack Surface Analyzer” scans by using two system snapshots and a series of tests after changes to the Windows operating system.
These are caused by some new installations, developments and applications.
So you can now identify any vulnerability that may be incurred by the modification of the operating system, and otherwise remained undetected.
Windows 7 Official Theme Pack
In addition to those already included in the Internet, Microsoft offers more than 50 official themes for Windows 7 for free download.
Pro Photo Tools
The free “Pro Photo Tools” developed by Microsoft is suitable for amateur photographers who want to manage lots of photos. The tool is very useful to read, modified the metadata of a photo or equipped with GPS.
Supported Operating Systems: Windows Vista; Windows Vista 64-bit Editions Service Pack 1; Windows Vista Service Pack 1; Windows XP
Windows Live Writer
Blogger beware: With “Live Writer” from the Microsoft Live suite, Microsoft offers one of the best blogging tools for free download at all.
This blogging tool provides an interesting alternative to the online editors of the individual blog.
The command line tool can be much easier to control and automate Windows than with the very basic standard command line.
“Windows PowerShell” is the direct successor to the command line shell “cmd.exe” to get with IT professionals a scripting language for system administration and automation.
Download: Windows PowerShell for Vista (32-bit)/Windows PowerShell for Vista (64-bit)
“Microsoft Photo Info” is one of the practical Microsoft PowerToys that facilitate the daily work with Windows.
With the freeware you can edit the metadata of digital photos in IPTC and XMP directly from the context menu of Windows Explorer.
The Microsoft tool SharedView allows shared access to documents and programs. Consequently, up to 15 people simultaneously in an application (as Microsoft Excel) seeking to work.
In addition, the participants in a session, the control of the entire desktop of the host computer are allowed.
A Windows Live ID (Passport, Hotmail, or MSN) is required to start sessions, but not to join sessions.
Personal Folders Backup
Outlook lacks automated backup facility. For personal folder, you can upgrade this feature for free. You need just the freeware tool “Personal Folders Backup” installed.
Color Control Panel
The freeware tool “Color Control Panel” for Windows XP, allow you to specify advanced color settings and manage multiple profiles.
Image Composite Editor
The panorama software, Image Composite Editor creates several overlapping images a high resolution panoramic image that you saved on the hard disk or web publication.
Practical: The program adds the images together independently, so that you can make occasional corrections by hand.
Windows Live Mail 2011
“Windows Live Mail” is the successor to Outlook Express and is used as the default mail client in Windows 7.
The freeware block advertising messages, viruses, and fraudulent phishing e-mails automatically and therefore offers a calendar that keeps you informed about your schedule to date.
Virtual CDRom Control Panel
This tool incorporates ISO images from CDs or DVDs as a drive in the system.
The 50 KByte little Microsoft tool “Virtual CDRom Control Panel” extends XP and Vista for just this function.
Microsoft Security Essentials
For some time, Microsoft itself offers alternative to AntiVir Co. and the free software “Microsoft Security Essentials’ provides Windows users with a solid basic protection against viruses and worms.
Here, the program performs its duties quietly in the background. Only when it detects any threat, displays a small pop-up that gives you tips on how to proceed.
Great to see that Pivot is one of the newest projects Microsoft rolls out on the web. Pivot shows all the individual data sorted by topic in a grid. The collection can now be sorted by the user dynamically and categorized by filters and tags.
Small is beautiful: ZoomIt is a handy screen magnifier from Microsoft for technical presentations that include application demonstrations.