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Windows 7 hints and tips

Windows 7 day 1: What to install

You might expect each new version of an operating system to give you more than the previous one, but this is not true of Windows 7 and you actually get less! The reason is that some features and functions have been removed from the core operating system and they are now optional extras that can be downloaded and installed. They are free, of course.

In some ways this is a good idea and it means that when you download the extra software you always get the latest version and Microsoft can keep the applications up to date with the latest features and bug fixes. Perhaps the most important benefit though is that you can choose what you want. Rather than automatically installing components that you don't need, you can download just what you want, or even nothing at all. Businesses might choose not to install anything whereas home users might install everything that is available. So what exactly is available?

Most of the missing software is available at Windows Live. There is Windows Live Messenger (instant messaging and chat), Windows Live Mail (a replacement for XP's Outlook Express and Vista's Windows Mail), Writer (post to blogging websites), Photo Gallery (organise your photos, upload them to photo sharing websites), Movie Maker (edit your home movies and upload them to the web), Family Safety (parental controls to limit children's access to the web), and Windows Live Toolbar (add-on for Internet Explorer to access various Windows Live functions).

The other item you might want is anti virus/anti spyware software. There are several free programs and lots of commercial ones, but if you want to stick with Microsoft then the free Security Essentials is OK.

So when you boot up Windows 7 for the first time, remember that all the goodies are online and not on the DVD or pre-installed on your new PC.

Go to Windows 7 tips index...