The Power Toys for Windows XP were very popular to the point that Microsoft made you pay for the ones in Vista and called them Ultimate Extras, but unlike their XP counterparts they did not release a lot of the Ultimate Extras.
In Part 3 we will be looking at more utilities this time from Microsoft.
Utilities from Microsoft
1. Microsoft Security Essentials This is my new favorite antivirus software. It is light weight, does not bog the system down and does a great job. I highly suggest this for anyone’s home computer, non-profit, or small businesses. It is available for Windows 7, Vista, and XP and you can learn more and download it here at http://www.microsoft.com/security_essentials/
2. SyncToy This actually started as a Power Toy for Windows XP and has been evolved over the years into what it is today. This tool is for synchronizing files between two different areas, whether on the same drive, different ones, or different devices. This is a quick way to keep files synced and ready to go. It is available for Windows 7, Vista, and XP and you can check it out and download it here at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=C26EFA36-98E0-4EE9-A7C5-98D0592D8C52&displaylang=en
3. Windows Mobile Device Center This software is for syncing files and information for Windows Mobile smartphones. It works with Windows Mobile 6.5 and earlier. Windows Mobile Device Center is available for Windows 7 and Windows Vista and you can learn more and download the 32Bit version here at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsmobile/en-us/downloads/microsoft/device-center-download.mspx And get the 64-bit version here at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyId=4F68EB56-7825-43B2-AC89-2030ED98ED95&displaylang=en
4. Microsoft ActiveSync The Windows Mobile Device Center is not available for Windows XP and this is where ActiveSync comes in. ActiveSync is the older version of Mobile Device Center and it again works with Windows Mobile devices to sync files and information. You can check it out and download it at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsmobile/en-us/downloads/microsoft/activesync-download.mspx
5. Windows Virtual PC This is great software to run operating systems in a virtual environment. This new version of Virtual PC integrates very well into the Windows environment. I have used this recently and plan to write more articles about it. The awesome thing about it, this is available for all versions of Windows 7. You can check it out and download it here at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=2B6D5C18-1441-47EA-8309-2545B08E11DD&displaylang=en
6. XP Mode This is a great feature. This feature is only available for Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate. Let’s say you have an older program that does not run in Windows 7. Well if you install it in XP Mode you can have it run right off of the Windows 7 Start Menu. Once you have XP Mode installed it runs out of Windows Virtual PC which you must have installed first. Please note if you are going to set up XP Mode you need to install things in order, first Windows Virtual PC, then XP Mode then one of the updates above. You can download XP Mode here at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=FB633E9D-DDBC-4044-BB09-4F99E757064E&displaylang=en
7. Virtual PC 2007 If you are using Windows Vista or XP and you want to run operating systems in a virtual environment then you can download Virtual PC 2007. While it does not have all the features of Windows Virtual PC it still does the job well. Also, Virtual PC 2007 supports running older operating systems. If you want to check it out you can read more and download it from here at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=28C97D22-6EB8-4A09-A7F7-F6C7A1F000B5&displaylang=en
8. Microsoft Mathematics This program should have its own blog post. This is the old Windows XP Power Toy Calculator on crack. You can do just about anything Math related on this thing. Solve equations, convert units, graphing, trig, etc. Best of all it is Free. It uses the Tab and Ribbon interface from the Windows Live and Windows 7 programs. You can install it in Windows 7, Vista, and XP (Please note that the .Net 3.5 framework must be installed for Vista and XP users). You can learn more and download it from here at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=9caca722-5235-401c-8d3f-9e242b794c3a
These are some great additions to Windows that add functionality and customization.
For Non-Microsoft Utilities check out Part 2.
For Communication and Games check out Part 1.