Windows 7 is a fast, stable operating system that already includes high quality software by default. But that doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed to enjoy the advantages of third-party apps.
Common tasks such as downloading files, chatting with your friends, creating documents or editing photos require tools that you won’t find built into Windows 7. Also, some of the tools you used before may not be compatible with Microsoft’s new operating system. This is why we’ve put together this list of 20 top free apps that work with Windows 7, with which you’ll be able to take full advantage of your brand new system.
Security comes first. There are many antivirus apps that work with Windows 7, but Microsoft Security Essentials is the one that best integrates with the system. Plus it also protects you from spyware!
Stability is another key issue. While we wait for the new Windows 7 compatible version of TuneUp Utilities, CCleaner can also do a great job cleaning, tweaking and optimizing your system.
Don’t be ashamed: we all have deleted files by mistake at some point in our lives. Fortunately we can count on this great tool called Recuva to get them back – and it works like a breeze on Windows 7 as well.
Need a password manager to deal with all your usernames, passwords, secret numbers and personal codes? Keepass is a great choice, and is also perfectly embedded in Microsoft’s new operating system.
Browsing the Web is the main activity for most computer users. Windows 7 already features the new Internet Explorer 8, but I’m sure most of you will only use it to download Firefox. Another excellent alternative is Opera.
Speaking of the Web… what about downloading files? With JDownloader you’ll be able to manage all your Internet downloads on Windows 7 in a very easy and efficient way.
Most of the files you download will be zipped, so you’ll need a tool like PeaZip: a small yet powerful zipping/unzipping utility with which you can effortlessly handle compressed files on Windows 7.
After having your brand new Windows 7 computer for a while, it’ll probably start to be bloated with new software. For those apps you don’t use that often or don’t need anymore, use Revo Uninstaller.
Creating and opening documents is another essential computer task – also on Windows 7. If you don’t want to wait until Office 2010 comes out, try using OpenOffice, which is fully 7-compatible as well.
Talking about documents, PDF is the standard format for many of them, and Adobe Reader the standard tool to open them. Plus, you can now enjoy full PDF preview in Windows Explorer!
What if you don’t need to view PDF files, but to create them? The best option then is to use one of the many available virtual PDF printers. PDFCreator is a good choice and works great on Windows 7.
If you don’t really like Windows Media Player that much and prefer an alternative tool to watch your favorite movies on the computer, the powerful VLC Media Player works perfectly fine on Windows 7 as well.
Remember you’ll need codecs! Despite its misleading name, XP Codec Pack is a great choice for Windows 7, and will let you to play all sorts of audio and video files on the computer.
Like other previous versions of the OS, Windows 7 includes a very basic burning tool to record data on a disc. But if you need more features and functionality, CDBurnerXP Pro can do the trick.
The great thing about computers is that they enable you to keep in touch with family and friends all over the world. Skype is one of the best tools for this task, and yes, it works on Windows 7 as well!
An alternative for IM and webcam communications would be Windows Live Messenger. Being developed by Microsoft, this program also takes full advantge of all the features in Windows 7.
Also included in the Windows Live pack, Windows Live Movie Maker is a great app to create your own customized photo presentations on Windows 7, in just a few easy steps!
Managing images has also become an important task in computers. Picasa is definitely our app of choice to browse, organize and edit photos on Windows 7 without effort.
Oh, and speaking of photos… don’t forget to download our Windows 7 Wallpaper Pack! It includes nearly a hundred great Windows 7 free wallpapers to bring new life to your desktop.