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My Top 10 List Windows PC Software of All Time

I’ve been using Windows for nearly two decades, and during that time I’ve tried hundreds of programs. Most come and go, but a handful have stood the test of time for me by solving a particular problem particularly well.

In this article and accompanying gallery, I list 10 Windows programs I use every day. Every one adds a feature that makes Windows easier to use or can help make you more productive. Each one comes from a company that has proven its ability to support the product and improve it over time. I’ve been using every program on this list for long enough to recommend it without reservation.

Most of the programs in this list are free; for those that aren’t a trial version is available. All of the programs in this list run on Windows XP Service Pack 2 and Windows Vista (and most run on other editions as well). I’ve devoted one full page to each program, with info and download links and enough details to help you decide whether it’s something you want to try. I’ve also provided screen shots for each program to help you see what I’m talking about.

Process Explorer (Sysinternals/Microsoft)

windows-software-1The most amazing diagnostic tool ever, created by Microsoft Distinguished Fellow Mark Russinovich. If you use Task Manager, you should replace it with this free alternative, which does so much more.

RoboForm (Siber Systems)

windows-software-2Create strong passwords, save them, and automatically fill them in using Firefox or IE. If you’re frustrated by passwords, this is your answer.

Keyfinder (Magical Jelly Bean Software)

windows-software-3If you had to reinstall Windows tomorrow, do you know where your product ID is? If the answer is no, get this tiny free utility, which finds product IDs for dozens of popular programs (including Windows and Office) and lets you print or save the results.

ClipMate Clipboard Extender (ThornSoft Development)

windows-software-4When I set up a new PC, this is the first program I install. It’s that good. I save thousands of keystrokes a year thanks to this gem of a utility.

FeedDemon for Windows (NewsGator Technologies)

windows-software-5The best damn RSS reader in the Windows world. Period. And it’s now free.

Windows Live Photo Gallery (Microsoft)

windows-software-6You’ll have to search for it, but this updated version of the Windows Photo Gallery that debuted in Vista is worth the hunt. If you’ve chosen to steer clear of Vista, no worries: It works in XP too.

Allway Sync r(Usov Lab)

windows-software-7This powerful tool synchronizes the contents of folders over a network or to external storage and is an ideal complement to most backup programs.

SnagIt (TechSmith)

windows-software-8As a technology writer, I use this screen capture program nearly every day. Even after six years, I’m still discovering new tricks it can do.

IE7 Pro

windows-software-9If you use IE7, you need this free add-on, which provides ad blocking, tab management, inline search, crash recovery, and all the other features Microsoft left out.

FinePrint (FinePrint Software)

windows-software-10Over the years, I can’t even imagine how many trees I’ve spared with the help of this program. If you print more than a few pages a month, you have to try this.

This is my list of my favorite software, what about yours? Feel free to share yours on our site. If you need more information you can visit this Mac software post on our site.

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