Chapter 11. The Desktop’s Starter Programs

Even after a fresh installation of Windows 8, your computer teems with 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 alphabetically. They may appear on the All Programs screen in various groups, under various headings (Figure 11-1). But in this chapter, they’re all alphabetical, for your sanity’s sake.

Windows Essentials

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

If you can believe it, Windows 8 doesn’t come with a desktop email program. It doesn’t come with a chat program, video-editing app, or basic photo-management software, either (only the Photos viewing app in TileWorld).

It’s not because Microsoft doesn’t have the talent; 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 nowadays, Microsoft leaves out all those controversial programs.

But even if they’ve been left out, they’re not actually gone. These programs are one click away, a one-shot free download from the Web, in a package called Windows Essentials (formerly known as Microsoft Lawsuit Bait).

Most of them, anyway. The Windows Essentials suite includes these apps:

  • Windows Live Mail. Yes, it’s the ...

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