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Taming Windows Vista - Bundled Applications & Add-ons

written by: sammy•edited by: Lamar Stonecypher•updated: 5/11/2009

Here is a description of some more vital flaws in Windows Vista and effective remedies to overcome these drawbacks.

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    Are all the Bundled applications included in Vista good enough for you?

    Initially if you look up at the bundled applications Windows Vista has to offer you will be quite impressed. You can keep track of your schedule with Calendar, run Gadgets on the Sidebar, or manage your digital images with Photo Gallery, and. You will be pleased to know that good old Minesweeper is still there and it is joined by some graphically beautiful games. But if you look a little closer you will find out that everything is not all that perfect as it seems to be. There is a lot of bad news as well. Built-in applications like Notepad and Paint are still inveterately short on fea­tures and the new Windows Mail is real­ly just Outlook Express with a very thin disguise. The inclusion of Windows Media Centre isn't all it seems either and it only comes with the Windows Vista Home Premium or Vista Ultimate editions, so those of you who are using other versions of Vista must rely on Media Player to handle their videos and music. If you compare these built-in applications with that included in Linux, you will find yourself a bit cheated by Microsoft. Linux includes powerful tools such as Evolution (email, address book and calendar tool, the Linux answer to Microsoft Outlook) or Open Office (word processor, spreadsheet, presenta­tion tools), and many more to go. There is absolutely no need to buy any other software if you are a Linux user, and you can be really productive with a Linux system from the first time you turn it on.

    But don’t be worried if you are a Vista user. There are a lot of free tools online that can fill up this empty space for you. One of them is Editpad Lite, a notepad which is much better than the one offered by Vista with a much better performance, unlimited undo and redo, and a tabbed interface that allows you to open several files at the same time. You can also replace Windows Paint with Paint.Net, a feature-packed image editor that is very easy to use for beginners. Replace Windows Mail with Thunderbird which can be extended with hundreds of custom add-ons. Another down to earth application is Mediaportal which is a suite like Windows Media Center that can play videos, DVDs, music and internet radio. Also, if you need a professional word processor or spreadsheet then just grab a copy of Open Office Org.