The items in Windows Start area can be organized into categories for a better reach. The Handy Start Menu brings the categories and can move most of the elements into them automatically. What has not been moved by the application can be handled manually. Returning to the default order imposed by Windows is done with a click of a button. As much as Windows tries to organize the elements of your start menu by placing the most frequently accessed items at the top of the panel, the rest of the shortcuts under “All Programs” will still be organized alphabetically. Even if you’ve grown accustomed to this, it does not necessarily have to remain so.
Aesthetically speaking, improving Windows 7 could be quite a challenge, but this does not mean that third parties will cease to create and provide tools to modify the way the operating system looks. Windows 7 Boot Updater lets you change the default load screen with any picture you want. The customization abilities of this application go beyond simply personalizing the boot screen in Windows, and include the possibility to change the text displayed, too.
Immersive Explorer is a file manager designed to replace the default solution provided by Microsoft in Windows 7 and 8 operating systems. What stands out is the fact that all items are displayed as tiles, just like in the Modern UI environment in Windows 8, and it uses graphical hardware acceleration. The application is currently in alpha stage of development and this is easily noticeable when you work with it. It is free of charge and you do not have to go through the regular installation routine to have it on the system. Extracting the archived contents and running the executable file is all you need to do to get it started.
The list of choices for customizing the Start screen in Windows 8 may be enough for some users, but those accustomed to be in control of every aspect of the operating system will seek the means to make some changes and have their way. ModernUI Start Screen Changer is designed specifically for Windows 8, and its name is enough of a hint about what you can do with it: add your own image as background. The choices offered by Microsoft for changing the background for the modern UI in Windows 8 are plenty, but giving the OS a personal touch sounds more appealing. And this is exactly what this tool promises.
VirtualBox is a free, open source solution for running other operating systems virtually on your PC. With VirtualBox, you can install any version of an operating system, such as Linux, Solaris, and other versions of Windows (as long as you have the original installation files, of course) and run them within your current version of Windows. The first thing you notice about VirtualBox is that it’s extremely easy to setup and use. VirtualBox holds your hand through the whole process so you never feel out of your depth. Integration with your native environment is extremely impressive. VirtualBox allows for declaring certain host directories as ‘shared folders’, which can then be accessed from within the operating system you’re running in VirtualBox. In addition, connecting USB devices is simple – VirtualBox automatically detects new devices and asks you if you wish to use them. Unfortunately, there is no drag-and-drop function from your native desktop into VirtualBox but considering it’s free, you really can’t complain.
The latest Service Pack for XP is finally here and it includes some minor but important updates for Windows users. Windows® XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) includes all previously released updates for the operating system. However, this particular update only includes a small number of new functionalities, which do not significantly enhance the operating system. Amongst these updates are features such as an updated Microsoft Management Console 3.0 (which already appears in Windows Server 2008 and Vista) and an update to Wifi protected access to make wireless surfing more secure. There has also been added a “health checking” component that’s already used by Windows Server 2008 which can check to make sure that certain upgrades and security features are in place for XP-based clients before they are allowed to log onto a network.