Whether you’re headed back to school next month or your school days are long behind you, sofware applications can help you get the most out of what you’re doing with your Windows PC or Mac. Here are some of the hottest items right now, in categories that include office suites, graphics packages, cloud storage, videoconferencing, and cool tools.
While Microsoft Office 13 is on everyone’s lips, you can’t buy the product just yet. Although the other four products on this month’s list are commercially available, Office 13 is still in beta. Through a recently released Consumer Preview, however, you can install the software and start playing around with it.
The new edition of Microsoft’s long-time suite will boast a number of improvements to make creating, editing, and reading documents on PCs quicker and easier.
Many of these enhancements are attributable to Microsoft’s embracement of the cloud, on the one hand, and the touch interface, on the other.
Whether for school or on the job, you might want to include some snazzy pie charts, timelines, or 3D bar graphs in the reports you’re preparing on your Windows PC.
If so, Microsoft Office 2010 is not the only way to go. Indeed, a software package named SmartDraw is like a traditional charting and graphing application on steroids, offering you an astounding range of options.
After you download the free trial, you can purchase the Standard Edition for merely $100.
You might not have known this before, but anyone with an Amazon account gets free storage on Amazon’s cloud servers.
Amazon’s recently rolled out Amazon Cloud Drive is a new piece of free, downloadable software, available for both Windows PCs and Macs.
The software makes it easy to upload your files to your own personal space on Amazon.
Videoconferencing has been around for decades, but OmniJoin is new.
The new service from Brother provides great videoconferencing performance.
It’s also designed to let you play videos to colleagues, transfer files, and show PowerPoint presentations, all from within the same program.
Subscribers need to download a piece of OmniJoin software.
CleanMyDrive, a free utility for Apple’s Mac OS X, is not the “kitchen sink” type of tool that does everything you can think of (and a lot of things you don’t want, either).
Yet it does what it promises to do very smoothly.
CleanMyDrive is meant to make working with external drives (such as USB thumb drives and secondary hard drives) easy by automatically removing “junk” files.
It also allows for one-click eject functionality, and it includes a slick visual indicator of available storage capacity.