Last week we profiled 10 Mac apps that jealous Windows users could only pine for. Well, Windows has its share of nifty stuff too, so we’d be remiss if we didn’t remind Mac users why 90% of planet Earth still runs on Redmond.
XMap is your friendly neighborhood Google Map on steroids. Meant for surveyers, energy companies, pilots and resource-extraction teams, XMap has several suites of software that let you create and edit data layers and GIS data, plan flight paths, and mashup with in-vehicle GPS data. $199 – $1499.
Buying movies and TV shows on iTunes is for suckers; when you can rent unlimited movies for pennies each from Netflix and rip them onto your PC with DVD neXt, paying $4 for a movie rental that expires in 24 hours doesn’t sound so high tech. DVD neXt let you copy your movies to DVDs, Zunes, iPods and PSPs, and can cram 10 DVD movies onto a Blu-ray disc for storage. Download version: $70.
Google Chrome might get a lot of press these days for its future as an operating system, but don’t forget that it’s a pretty great browser today. With a thumbnail view of your favorite pages and private browsing per window, it’s the perfect alternative for the Firefox hater. Free.
It might be unfair to include a spyware eradicator in this list when Macs don’t really suffer from malware, but that doesn’t make Spybot’s performance any less formidable. Whatever crap invades your PC, Spybot can kill it, and it updates faster than big-box antivirus suites. By donation.
Apple’s in-OS burning utility works fine, but it’s nothing compared to the supertool that is Nero 9. Nero lets you burn and rip DVDs, CDs, Bluray discs, and setup autocopy, backup, and photo slideshows on disc. It also functions as a home media center that can pause, record, manage and burn live HDTV. Download: $70.
The Orange Box contains six of the best video games to ever grace the personal computer. Gaming has long been the province of Windows PCs, and things haven’t changed much in that domain; games like Half-Life 2 and Portal are still light-years ahead of anything on the Mac. $30 on Steam.
Apple’s Preview is good, but Irfanview is better. This robust file-viewer can convert, batch process, scan and print, as well as handle movies, sounds and slideshows. Oh, and there are plugins too, as well as a selection of toolbar skins for aesthetes. By donation
NoClose is one of those stupid little workarounds that could save your life if you work with a lot of SaaS or Web-based services. It disables the X button that tempts you to close out all your work when you mean to minimize or maximize the window. You can even toggle the feature on and off with hard-to-accidentally-activate hotkeys. Free.
Few of Microsoft’s homegrown programs are as gorgeous or functional as Media Center for Windows. It can interface with your TV to become an on-PC DVD, as well as doing all the stuff you’d expect from a media dashboard: Play DVDs, flip through photos, and play music. Sure, Apple’s got FrontRow. But can you record live TV with that? Nope. Included with Windows Vista Home Premium and Ultimate.
Window Extractor does exactly what it sounds like: Pulls embedded videos out of their sites so you can place them into their own windows, or blow them up full screen. Also works great for CAD drawings, spreadsheets, and photos. Best part: it’s open source. Free.