So you've just installed the new Windows 7 Beta (build 7000). You've created your user profile, logged in for the first time and installed any missing drivers. What next?
Here's the list of apps and codecs I install within the first 30 minutes.00. Windows Update
- technically not an install but I run it first. Everytime.
01. Windows Live Essentials suite
Includes Windows Live Messenger, Photo Gallery, Writer & Mail. Also includes Silverlight02. Live Mesh
All my files are synced across my various machines with Live Mesh. I also take full advantage of the 5GB of cloud storage03. WinRAR
- Shareware (US$29)
My favorite compression and archiving tool. Supports basically any archive format you throw at it including ISO and Linux archives04. AVG Free Anti-Virus
Light weight, free anti-virus protection. Does require updates to be manually installed though05. Firefox
) - FREE
IE8 is my default browser however it is still in beta and there are a few web sites out there that render better in Firefox. DownThemAll is an amazing download utility that dramatically speeds up download times06. VLC Media Player
Basically a Quicktime replacement as VLC can playback most *.MOV files07. Xvid Codec
*Update* Windows Media Player 12 (found in the Windows 7 beta) natively supports Xvid, Divx and MP4 codecs however if (like me) you have a couple of videos in your collection that don't play correctly try installing the Xvid codec.
For decoding Xvid, Divx and MP4 video files in Windows Media Player08. AC3 Filter
*Update* As above - you may not need this codec but if you find you're not getting any sound when plating back a video file it might an AC3/DTS issue.
Audio filter that enables Windows Media Player to playback movies with AC3 and DTS audio tracks09. ImgBurn
*Update* Windows 7 burns ISO images natively so this tool is mainly used for creating ISO images.
Great CD/DVD burning and ISO creation utility10. Easy CD-DA Extractor
- 30 Day Free Trial (US$37)
*Update* I primarily use Easy CD-DA Extractor for converting from one file format to the other ie. lossless to MP3 and for the odd CD that WMP12 is unable to rip for me.
"The Swiss Army Knife of Digital Audio" pretty much sums up Easy CD-DA Extractor. I still buy physical CD's from real music stores,... how crazy is that!! Easy CD-DA Extractor allows me to back-up my discs and convert to MP3 for storage on my Windows Home Server11. Paint.NET
*Update* The new Paint application in Windows 7 is a great update but if you need to work with some basic layers or some more advanced features then Paint.NET is a great tool.
Simple yet powerful free Photoshop alternative. Not quite as comprehensive as GIMP but does the basics and does them well12. SharePod
iTunes alternative for transferring tracks on (and off) ipods13. Skype
(version 4.0 Beta 3) - FREE
I think we all know what Skype is14. FileZilla
Light weight, free FTP Utility. Supports file resume15. Microsoft Office 2007
- 60 Day Free Trial (from US$80
Outlook, Word, Excel and Powerpoint are my essentials although Windows Live Mail is a great alternative if you don't need the complexity of Outlook
What have I missed? What other apps & codecs do you install during the first 30 minutes after an OS rebuild?
Check out Larry's Top 10 Fresh Machine Installs