Microsoft offers a ton of freebies, including –
Productivity applications – Paint.NET, Photo Story 3, Microsoft Virtual PC 2007, Windows Live Essentials, Windows Live SkyDrive, Windows Live Writer.
System utilities – SyncToy, Process Explorer, SysInternals.
Security applications – Microsoft Security Essentials, RootkitRevealer, Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer.
You can read more on Microsoft’s freebies on this site – Download A Bagful of Free Microsoft Software.
Microsoft goes well beyond this sampling of freebies I’ve mentioned here, and carries the “free” concept into technical support – through their Support Solution Center.
Sure, you have the option of searching through blogs and forums for an answer to a nagging operating system problem. But, a more practical solution, it seems to me, is to go to the source – the product developer.
If you’re a Windows 7 user, Microsoft has created a neat little free ebook – “What You Can Do Before You Call Tech Support”, put together by Mitch Tulloch, a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional and lead author of the just-published Windows 7 Resource Kit.
This 11 page resource, which has been designed to help users diagnose and deal with some common technical issues, is available for download in both PDF and XPS document format.
The opening paragraphs:
Your sound card has stopped working, your computer seems sluggish, the network is down, your hard drive is clicking, you can’t view a website, your monitor is hard to read, your new webcam isn’t working, your favorite program won’t run, and a funny burning smell is coming from your computer. What can you do on your own to try to troubleshoot the issue before you pick up the phone to call tech support?
If you’re running Windows 7, quite a lot. Microsoft has included a lot of self-support tools in Windows 7 that you can try using before you seek the help of others, and we’ll examine these in a moment.
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