Free and Microsoft????

100521452_b9e3db08b8It’s not often that we associate the word ‘FREE’ with Microsoft software/services as they seldom release their products for their users which don’t cost a dime!!!…Before u jump to any conclusion then let me make it clear that Microsoft isn’t giving away their RTM operating systems for free. Windows won’t ever compete with Linux on price but they do have a lot of applications to offer which cost NOTHING!!!! Hard to believe it right?? The freebies have been around for some time now but it’s just that we are not aware of it. Here are a few which are worth trying out.

Paint.NET – This is an image and photo editing application written in .NET hence the name. It has a very simple, intuitive, and innovative user interface. It provides a whole lot of features plus layers, special effects, and support for a wide range of image formats. If you need help then there is an online Forum. If all you want to do is some minor changes then go for this as other imaging software’s like Adobe Photoshop, Corel Paint Shop Pro are an overkill as they are huge in size and are not that performance oriented.

Download Paint.NET

WorldWide Telescope – Microsoft Research has come out with this wonderful application and it is a must for all the amateur astronomers out there. It is a virtual telescope offering a very rich visualization environment. This package brings together the amazing images from Hubble Space Telescope and 10 other earthbound telescopes enabling you to explore some of the highest resolution imagery of the universe available in multiple wavelengths.

Explore the Universe

Visual Web Developer 2008 Express Edition – Microsoft has always allowed the developers to try out their tools for 60 days but that is not the case here..This FREE easy-to-learn, easy-to-use development environment makes it possible for anyone to create Web sites or small applications.

Even though it is free it provides professional-level features that will allow you to create a wide variety of Web sites, from the most basic HTML to more advanced ASP.NET pages or SQL Server databases. The help tutorial in video format will give the man features and the common tasks that you could do with this Express Edition.

Download it

SyncToy – Gone are the days when 20 GB was sufficient for our needs, today even a TB isn’t enough.. With the widespread availability of inexpensive external hard disks, SyncToy is a great backup tool. It is designed to assist you in maintaining duplicate copies of files you might keep on a laptop and a desktop or a desktop and a network drive.

Unlike other Backup tools this one is pretty intuitive. The opening screen prompts you to select a pair of folders you want to use and designates them simply as the Left Folder and the Right Folder. There are five synchronization methods to choose from but it has no scheduler which is a bit disappointing. Operations have to be performed manually. It is quick and very efficient and it is FREE!!!

Backup your files

Security Essentials – Antivirus is a must for any computer these days with everyone connected to the web. Microsoft came out with a free antivirus on June 23rd this year. It is not a full-blown internet security app but instead it is coupled with Windows’ built-in firewall providing a good level of protection and doesn’t hog the CPU or RAM.

Protect your PC

These are just some of the free software’s being offered by Microsoft. Click here to EXPLORE a whole list of freebies. Many equate “Free” with “Cheap” or “Basic” which is not always true. If you tried out any cool applications then please do share it with us 🙂

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