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Extensoft is a new software company which launched a few months back. They describe themselves as “˜the unofficial Windows upgrade’ and have a growing set of tools and extensions designed to bring a whole lot of extra features to Windows.

The reason they were not initially featured here on MakeUseOf is due to the fact that they don’t offer free products – they cost $49 per year, and typically we only review free products. I did test all the products and was very impressed, so I was glad to see this announcement a few days ago:

We’ve listened to your requests for free products and today we are releasing several free applications that will enhance your desktop:

Please visit our updated Products page and enjoy!

The Screen Capturer, Disk Usage Analyzer and Extended Task Manager were previously only included amongst the subscription products, so I was surprised to see these released for free – especially considering I found them to be my favourite three extensions of the lot!

The Task Manager is great, and provides a significantly enhanced UI over the Windows XP Task manager and even over the improved Windows Vista version.

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The New Video Converter tools are also very impressive, in fact it’s one of the best free video media converter Top Free Media Converters for Windows Top Free Media Converters for Windows Read More tools I’ve found – it’s simple, looks great and is very functional. It’s also got a great implementation of the “˜Office Ribbon’, which makes this one of the few applications I’ve seen in the wild to do so.

free media converter

The Disk Analyzer is also great for working out exactly where all the space on your computer is being taken up. Sometimes it’s a little slow during the analyses, but that’s a minor quibble. For alternative, see our previous article on Visualize your Hard Drive Usage with WinDirStat Visualize your Hard Drive Usage with WinDirStat Visualize your Hard Drive Usage with WinDirStat Read More .

For users tired of Windows simple print-screen button the Screen Capturer is a great little tool with a whole lot of useful features.

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If you like any of these tools then we have 10 FREE subscriptions for a year to all of Extensoft products. All you have to do is post a comment below telling us the ONE feature you feel Windows is most missing (Make Use Of employees and anyone connected to Make Use Of employees ineligible).

Enjoy!

  1. Marius PDX
    December 25, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    I am really frustrated that i can't play blu ray discs on my win 7 PC. tried VLC , which is my main video player, but no luck with Blu Ray. i hoped Win media player is going to be great to play blu-ray discs... I was wrong.. don't know what to do... how could they leave out such a big part of entertainment... idiots :(

    the other thing I am trying to do is to play/download youtube videos using win7 MCE 10ft environment.. tried to make Yougle work with it.. no luck.. what a loss :)

    if you can help with a low tech easy to use solution, i would certainly want to learn about it :(

    it sucks!!!!

  2. Ankit
    January 29, 2009 at 11:25 pm

    i think vista lacks in extions like video converter and document converter and also tabbed explorer window

  3. DontTazeMeBro
    January 27, 2009 at 8:53 pm

    Just send an email to Extensoft and they will send you a link to download the full version. Then you'll be able to register.

  4. DontTazeMeBro
    January 27, 2009 at 11:38 am

    I sent an email to Extensoft asking this question, but I'm guessing that you don't have to enter your registration code until the trial period expires, which appears to be 3 months. I will report back when I have an answer.

  5. Alsiladka
    January 3, 2009 at 10:41 am

    Even i would like to know how do i register the software!

  6. Navjot Singh
    December 29, 2008 at 2:32 pm

    Thanks for the prizes....but how to use the license? Pls give that info too.

  7. Mark O'Neill
    December 29, 2008 at 1:08 pm

    Sorry for the delay in announcing the winners of the competition. Here they are :

    1. Keith
    2. Dave V
    3. Evan
    4. Carlos C
    5. Mike
    6. Mark
    7. Alsiladka
    8. Navjot
    9. David Tompkins
    10. Donttazemebro

    I will emailing the license codes to the email address you provided with your comment. So I hope you provided an accurate email address! :-)

    Congratulations to the winners!

  8. Alsiladka
    December 26, 2008 at 1:51 pm

    Who won the licenses?

  9. skraps
    December 23, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    Win needs a better task manager.

  10. DontTazeMeBro
    December 23, 2008 at 2:25 pm

    There are so many ways that Windows could be a better platform for users of all levels, but for my suggestion, I would like to see better customization features. That said, Windows is most missing:

    - An in-built GUI tool, similar to TweakUI for XP, that allows you to fully customize your desktop environment, installed Windows features, and all background services. You should have the ability to configure Windows to YOUR liking, and Microsoft has never been friendly in that department. Included in this "tweak" utility should be control over all installed Windows programs and features, all desktop environment features, and all Windows services. Service configuration should be based on a model similar to blackviper.com service configurations. For home users, the number of running services can be reduced by greater than 50%, drastically reducing the amount of memory consumed by Windows.

  11. jogold
    December 21, 2008 at 4:09 pm

    As big as my 500 gb is it still gets full.
    1 Terabyte will also fill up and the only reason that I don't get one is because cleaning that out will be double the horror!!!
    So The Disk Analyzer is a MUST.

    Jo

  12. Moshe
    December 21, 2008 at 1:35 am

    A dual-pane file manager.

  13. Steve
    December 20, 2008 at 11:14 pm

    I would like to see a more robust Network Manager.

  14. venkat
    December 20, 2008 at 11:07 pm

    First of all thanks to Extensoft for providing freewares,all require mostly video converter and screen capture program I will try them .

  15. Dave P
    December 20, 2008 at 6:02 pm

    The one thing I would like to see is a file viewer integrated with Windows Explorer. Even a simple text extractor (using the programming built into Microsoft Search) would be helpful but something which leverages the programming of Office would be even better.

  16. Wayne
    December 20, 2008 at 5:41 pm

    One thing that would assist millions of Windows users worldwide would be a more user-friendly way to recover from crashes, freezes, problems etc. Whilst acknowledging that most of these problems are user caused (freeware junkies like myself!), surely more simple methods, such as popup options, a "mini" restore button etc could be devised.

  17. David Tompkins
    December 20, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    The ONE feature Windows is most missing is a way to instantly create a folder. I'm a mac&pc poweruser and I've searched for years to find a solution that would instantly (via keystroke) create a folder on the desktop/explorer of a windows machine much as apple's OS has (cmd-n, cmd-shft-n). It's such a simple thing, but a huge time saver. I'm aware I can do this by using a keyboard macro program, but I believe it's something Windows is missing and should have built-in!

  18. Jerry
    December 20, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    I think Windows needs an EASIER and QUICKER way to end applications that have stopped responding.

  19. darkmonk
    December 20, 2008 at 12:37 pm

    The feature windows is lacking that angers me most in the inability to detect multiple partitions on removable media. It's our media - we should have a right to do whatever we want with it!

  20. Tom Christian
    December 20, 2008 at 11:44 am

    Extensoft freebies are a welcome sight. Thank goodness a company has opened that knows Windows. I like the FLV converter best. I make stuff for the web and this tool works perfectly. Just what I needed. Thanks EXTENSOFT

  21. Darwin
    December 20, 2008 at 11:22 am

    Without a doubt, a DOS emulator which simulates an IBM PC compatible computer running MS-DOS. DOSBox has over 10 million downloads and is absolute proof that this is a needed function that Windows is missing. It sure would be nice to be able to run Myst, Star Trek, The Next Generation and tons of other older software on my XP machine.

  22. Marc
    December 20, 2008 at 11:17 am

    A major feature that I would love to see is a 'self-repair' system - I can't imagine how much productivity is lost because of trying to fix Windows problems. I know this is a complex feature but I do believe it's possible and would make living with Windows a whole lot easier!

  23. seth
    December 20, 2008 at 8:51 am

    I think Windows needs to include a much more open-source type Desktop Environment editor. Sure, start with whatever they want it to look like, but allow free range editing for those who want it.

  24. crimson
    December 20, 2008 at 7:53 am

    I found package managers in Linux very useful. Suppose I know nothing about computers, how about my Windows installing the programs I need automatically? I'd certainly make use of some guidlines in choosing/buying/installing Windows programs.

    Also, Windows lacks a powerful notetaking tool. Notepad is simple and easy, yet I'd enjoy it having more features, such as organising notes in notebooks, categories, etc.

  25. Alecu
    December 20, 2008 at 6:11 am

    Most people I work with use Total Commander for exploring the computer and almost never Windows Explorer. Maybe Windows should have something like that built in.

  26. Abhigyan Agrawal
    December 20, 2008 at 5:44 am

    I think one feature windows is missing is at least one programming language built in. We say computers are for computing, but I can't write a simple program with Windows default installation. At least one compiler is must.

  27. cristiano007
    December 20, 2008 at 4:30 am

    A good usable explorer...

  28. BillyWarhol
    December 20, 2008 at 3:37 am

    The Awesome 3rd Party Apps Developers that Firefox has!! Obviously MicroPOOP have Never been able to Get it Right themselves + they've had 25 Years to simply make Windoze work right + be EZ + Fast + make the Computing Experience a Joy for all Users!! The Old Epson Valdocs was a Dream come True!! ;))

    If U have any Free Subs left I would love one!! Thank U!!

    ;)) Peace*

  29. justin Castillo
    December 20, 2008 at 1:08 am

    The one thing Windows is missing has now been filled thanks to the headlines concerning Internet Explorer. How about an actual Windows action figure dressed like a Window Washer for skyscrapers? If there can be a Sigmund Freud action figure, then the company could have a new mascot.

  30. Shreela
    December 20, 2008 at 1:01 am

    I'm still on XP, so maybe newer versions have this, but I want a quicker and easier way to make a new folder without having to install something.

  31. Harish
    December 19, 2008 at 11:47 pm

    Windows is like a giant who cannot turn back on its follies.
    A floating desktop, a good music burner without much muddling, a rigid security control system, a more rigid vista to squeeze the users control and many more areas are a bick "S" block. its rigidity is good for competition ??? All the Best.
    Harish

  32. Navjot Singh
    December 19, 2008 at 11:30 pm

    Those people who requested a screen capture tool for Windows, pls note that Windows Vista does come with a basic screen capturing utility. Just enable Tablet PC Optional Components in Turn Windows Features On and Off under Programs and Features option in Control Panel. And Then go to Start Menu>>All Programs>>Accessories>>Snipping Tool

    Now one feature I miss the most in Windows Vista is less number of codecs being shipped with it. Windows should tie up with some companies to include some more common used codecs like DivX, HD-DVD and Blu-Ray playback built in. Windows Media Player is hardly compatible with so many media files and it takes hell time to get the right media player and codecs to enable play for all types of files.

  33. Peter
    December 19, 2008 at 11:11 pm

    one only one??? A Real Theme/Skin designer. How bout a duplicate files finder, A Real File/Folder Usage Listing/ A Desktop that is not so wrapped up with its file explorer. A built in file preview to explorer.... Uhmmm...... A better services management feature. Actually identify whuchj services MUST be running at all time. Seperate services and processes of Windows from installed programs. Always identify the PID to the program and services using it.... Uhmmm. A Robot that runs over to my family and friends houses and helps them install a printer. Maybe that was asking too mich ;-) Merry Christmas!!!

  34. Punchy
    December 19, 2008 at 10:14 pm

    I would love to see a built a built in sandbox like Sandboxie and/or virtulization feature such as VMware Fusion or Parallels.

    Also a better uninstall program like Revo and built in RAR support.

    Punchy

  35. Jeremy
    December 19, 2008 at 10:06 pm

    I feel windows needs a "Light" fast boot option to just start what is necessary to jump on the internet without having to boot the entire OS. I am a $poor student/developer that could use a free subscription .. :)

  36. Brian
    December 19, 2008 at 9:36 pm

    ISO burning!

  37. brian
    December 19, 2008 at 9:29 pm

    I MISS THE "UP" BUTTON IN WINDOWS EXPLORER! Even after running Vista since way back in the beta days, I sill look for that stupid "up" button in explorer.

  38. Alsiladka
    December 19, 2008 at 9:07 pm

    One feature that i would like missing aint gonna come easy.

    I want a simply and easy to understand Event Log Viewer.

    The one supplied with windows requires you to have the tech know how of an Admin to be able to interpret it. But even the normal user would benefit from being able to read and interpret the events taking place on his computer.

    So i would love to see an easier event log viewer, which will actually tell what the events are in layman's terms.

  39. Mark
    December 19, 2008 at 7:59 pm

    Windows is missing a premier screen capture program. The Print Screen is the worst and after all the upgrades, they still have not updated. I would love a free screen capture utility to make up for Microsoft"s short-sightedness. Merry Christmas.

    Mark

  40. arnonh
    December 19, 2008 at 7:53 pm

    A good free open source repository with installer like synaptic

  41. Mike
    December 19, 2008 at 7:52 pm

    I agree with the commenter above - Windows needs a screen capture tool. It's not rocket science; every PC user at some point will need to snag a picture of something on his screen. But not the whole screen, for crying out loud!

    It's either that or a video converter. When software companies like Apple and Microsoft will stop being afraid of letting their products play nicely with competing formats they might actually come to realize it will attract customers.

    I will probably give every one of these extensions a shot. Thanks for the great info on this blog. It's the first time I have commented but I have been following it for quite awhile.

  42. laly
    December 19, 2008 at 7:48 pm

    I have recently upgraded to Vista and I must say I want to go back! One of the main reasons is there is way too much eye candy, especially in the explorer. So having something like the "Extended Windows Explorer" would definitely make Vista a joy to use!

  43. Nero
    December 19, 2008 at 7:45 pm

    What Windows really needs is a keyboard launcher a la Launchy.

  44. Frank
    December 19, 2008 at 7:41 pm

    As I run a vid/pic sharing setup with 23 online friends, the converter would come in handy there. And, as I work on pc's in my spare time,the disk analyzer and extended task manager would come in handy.

  45. NoArmsJames
    December 19, 2008 at 7:26 pm

    Windows is missing the customizability that linux has.

  46. cris
    December 19, 2008 at 7:15 pm

    awesome. i want a free subscription

  47. CarlosC
    December 19, 2008 at 6:59 pm

    Well, I think a feature, I we could call it that way, is the ability to customize your desktop/environment, of course you can do it, but need to "hack" to apply some themes or get a third party app to do it easier. I love how can you control almost everythin on linux (ubuntu in my case), and that's a nice feature windows needs IMO...

    It's nice to read about new software, that's why I read this blog mostly :) keep the good work.

  48. Jacob R
    December 19, 2008 at 6:37 pm

    I think windows is missing a more advanced calculator.

  49. Evan
    December 19, 2008 at 6:37 pm

    I'm a freeware junkie, so I'll definitely be giving these Extensoft products a try. One of my pet peeves with Windows has always been the lack of a built-in screen capture program (and no, the PrntScrn button doesn't count). Free Screen Capturer will be the first one I try out!

  50. Matt Stanczak
    December 19, 2008 at 6:28 pm

    Windows needs a program to create and edit music like Garageband is for the Mac.

  51. Dave V
    December 19, 2008 at 6:27 pm

    One of the features that Windows is most missing is a good network manager and troubleshooting tool. The current Network & Sharing Center in Vista is slow and doesnt resolve or provide solutions to networking problems.

  52. Keith
    December 19, 2008 at 6:20 pm

    I think that the one feature that windows is missing is spaces like on OSX or multiple desktops, I love that feature on linux but when I use Vista for the adobe suite it gets crowded quick.

  53. Shravan Sundaram
    December 19, 2008 at 6:17 pm

    The most missed feature windows has is an integrated media center to watch tv and listen to radio.

  54. Sergio Tapia
    December 19, 2008 at 6:11 pm

    Once again MakeUseOf proves to be the best website for tech info and novelties. I ♥ this site so much. :D

    I think Windows is missing a nice built in graphical editor. Something like Paint.net, which is not to heavy (Photoshop) and not to light (MSPaint).

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