Chapter 7. The Freebie Apps

Even after a fresh installation of Windows 7, a glance at your Start→All Programs menu reveals a rich array of preinstalled programs—as an infomercial might put it, they’re your free bonus gifts. This chapter offers a tour of these programs. (A few of them merit chapters of their own in this book.)

For your reference pleasure, they’re described here semi-alphabetically—that is, just as they appear in the All Programs menu (Figure 7-1).

For example, Accessories doesn’t appear here first, because it appears way down the list in your All Programs menu.

Windows Live Essentials

All Versions

Before the software tour begins, however, a word about Windows Live Essentials.

If you can believe it, this version of Windows doesn’t come with an email program! It doesn’t come with a chat program, calendar, address book, video-editing app, or even basic photo-management software, either.

It’s not because Microsoft doesn’t have the talent; Windows Vista, after all, came with all this stuff.

No, it’s because of the lawyers. Microsoft grew sick and tired of defending itself in antitrust lawsuits (“If you include all the software anybody would ever need, you’re stifling your competition!”). So in Windows 7, Microsoft left out all those controversial programs.

Well, they’ve been left out, but that doesn’t mean they’re actually gone. These programs are one click away, a one-shot free download from the Web, in a package called Windows Live Essentials (formerly known as Microsoft Lawsuit ...

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