Microsoft continues to give the user more options to customize their computer the way it displays and operates.
Microsoft also offers free online downloads from their website to increase your library of desktop and Windows themes, security software and several applications that assist you in your media ventures, like making movies and professional photography.
To find these freebies, open Internet Explorer and type www. microsoft.com in the address bar. Click “Downloads” near the top-left, and then click “All Windows downloads” or if you are using Windows 7, click “Free downloads.”
Underneath the “Windows” name, you’ll see the link for “Free downloads” and next to it, you’ll see “Personalization Gallery,” “Music, photos, & video” and “Security & utilities.” Click “Personalization Gallery.” When the page appears, scroll down and see an example of each category, such as the Windows theme showing a welllit city next to the water. If you want to see more examples, you can click “See all themes” to the right.
Continue down the web page and click the picture under “Desktop backgrounds.” You will notice many choices for a new desktop background. If you find one you like, you can easily make it your desktop background picture by clicking “Get it now,” right-clicking the picture and selecting “Set as background.”
Go back to the top and click “Free downloads” and then click “Security & utilities.” Here you can read more and download Windows Defender and Microsoft Security Essentials if you don’t have any antivirus software guarding your computer.
You can also download any service packs your computer may need. For example, if your computer is running Windows Vista (click the “Start” button, then right-click “Computer” and select “Properties”) you should have Service Pack Release 1 and 2 installed. If not, click the link to download and install the pack. These are large files, so leave plenty of time for the process to complete. These service packs can fix many issues and bugs in Windows and other software.
The final category, “Music, photos, & video,” offers you three applications that can assist your creative needs. Windows Media Player can burn (copy to a disk) or rip (copy to your computer’s hard drive) as well as play your work. Photo Gallery provides tools to edit your photos and Windows Movie Maker has the tools to edit your videos. If you’ve ever wanted to try any video or image editing, you can use these to see if they suit you.
Scott Lindsay actively promotes learning the computer, regardless of age, to better one’s life and circumstances and has helped thousands of people over the past 12 years to become better computer users. He can be reached at Scott@MicroScottPro.com.