40 must-have Windows Vista programs

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Power up your PC with these 40 must-have Windows Vista programs

Wondering what programs you should be installing to get the best from your Windows Vista PC?

Wonder no more, because Windows Vista: The Official Magazine has published its collection of must-have apps, which were compiled from a huge list of suggestions from the magazine's readers and writers.

Here are the top 40 programs from Windows Vista Magazine's uber-list of 100 hot apps. Some are free, some are paid-for, but all are recommended!

40. iTunes
For iPod owners, iTunes is an essential application for organising and purchasing music, and now downloading videos and podcasts, too.
Price Free
Web www.itunes.com

39. FeedDemon
Get all your news delivered to one place with FeedDemon. This once paid-for, now free, application makes keeping up with your favourite web sites easy, and more importantly, helps you keep on top of thousands of feeds.
Price Free
Web www.newsgator.com

38. MCE Buddy
The ultimate Windows Media Center add-on, MCEBuddy enables you to convert your recorded video for any media device, and even trims out the adverts for seamless viewing pleasure.
Price Free
Web www.mcebuddy.com

37. Aerofoil
A quick application that enables you to turn off Windows Aero graphics at the touch of a button, which is great for gaming and notebook applications alike. It also enables you to set power plans for mobile devices, to make batteries last that bit longer.
Price Free
Web silentdevelopment.blogspot.com

36. iPlayer
The BBC's on-demand video service has exceeded all expectations, taken the country by storm and has soared to millions of viewers. You can stream video, or download programmes to your computer to watch in high quality whenever you want.
Price Free
Web www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer

35. eBay Desktop
If you're a serial eBayer, this desktop application is essential. Using Adobe Air, this slick program lets you finetune searches, watch auctions and make bids in a smooth interface away from the linear web site structure.
Price Free
Web desktop.ebay.com

34. Audacity
From creating ringtones to editing sound recordings and making podcasts, anything is possible in Audacity, the open-source sound editor.
Price Free
Web audacity.sourceforge.net

33. Windows Live Listas
Microsoft started Windows Live Listas as an easy way to create and share lists - but ended up with one of the best ways to store web favourites and clippings, accessible from anywhere.
Price Free
Web listas.labs.live.com

32. Steam
Catapulting PC gaming into the 21st century, Steam lets you download and play the latest games and provides a great multiplayer platform, too. Most new games are available through Steam, and it includes friends, groups and invitations.
Price Free
Web www.steampowered.com

31. Windows Live Messenger
Staying in contact couldn't be easier, and now you can start video calls, voice chat, shared folder sending, webcam viewing and even on-demand TV. Windows Live Messenger is fast becoming an entertainment hub, with millions of users.
Price Free
Web get.live.com

30. GIMP
Photo manipulation doesn't get easier than with GIMP, with a simple interface and plenty of functionality.
Price Free
Web www.gimp.org

29. Paint.NET
Paint.NET started as a school project to create a successor to Windows Paint, and while it never made it to Windows, it is regarded as one of the most powerful free imaging programs around.
Price Free
Web www.getpaint.net

28. Start++
A favourite at Windows Vista Magazine, Start++ turns the Start Menu into the ultimate productivity application, adding a calculator, Wikipedia viewer and dictionary, as well as the ability to use all the popular search engines.
Price Free
Web www.brandontools.com

27. Inline Search for Internet Explorer 7
Inline Search takes your browser to new heights, with the ability to look for text in real time and highlight instances. This means you'll instantly know if the item you're looking for is on the page, eliminating wasted searches.
Price Free
Web www.ieforge.com/InlineSearch