Three free programs improve Windows 7

by Dennis O’Reilly – April 7, 2010 12:25 PM PDT

If you’ve got more than one PC, you probably also use more than one operating system. For instance, the PC I use at work runs XP, the machine in my home office uses Vista, and my laptop dual-boots Vista and Windows 7. Of the three, I’ll take Win7 any day of the week and twice on Mondays, but if you prefer XP’s look and features, a free program lets you make all three operating systems appear and act like XP.

Two other freebies improve two other Windows 7 weak spots: its built-in firewall and word processor.

Maximize your interface options with Classic Shell
It’s always a challenge to acclimate to the inevitable interface changes that accompany a new operating system. The Vista Start menu and Explorer windows bear little resemblance to their equivalents in XP. The changes in those features between Windows 7 and Vista are more subtle but still enervating for some people making the switch.

With the free Classic Shell program, you can flip between the look of XP, Vista, and Windows 7 with just a few clicks. (Unfortunately, you can switch XP’s look.)

Read the full article at Dennis O’Reilly’s “Worker’s Edge” blog on

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