Windows 8.1 is far from complete: The system lacks many important programs you need. COMPUTER BILD delivers to what Microsoft has forgotten.

If you switch to Windows 8.1, often can not start working immediately. The operating system is technically more advanced than its predecessors, but many useful programs are missing. The integrated on-board tools typically offer only basic functions are not sufficient in many situations. Are you unhappy with the standard equipment of the system, go here for help.

Free software package makes Windows 8.1 usable

COMPUTER BILD presents to you the best programs that Windows 8.1 are missing and eliminate the most serious defects. Classic Shell, for example, is upgrading the no longer existing startup menu. CCleaner deletes junk data from your hard drive. 7-Zip enables you to unzip ZIP files besides also about RAR or tar archives. Firefox and Google Chrome offer themselves as an alternative to Internet Explorer installed, not everyone likes. Sandra Lite is a replacement for the remote Windows Experience Index, which tracks the PC performance by numerical value. With the desktop version of Skype finally you stay in touch with your friends, without leaving the desktop – the installed Skype app, however, forces a change between desktop and tile world.

The following multi-piece lineup that we are continually expanding, gives an overview of the 64-bit development status of the major Windows applications.

Web browser

Firefox

Although not in a localized German version, but this can be retrofitted as XPI – the open-source browser available in version 3.6 and 64-bit software before. His immense popularity owes Firefox numerous extensions that are usually platform-independent and can be run under the 64-bit version.

Exceptions are extensions that contain binary code. They can be recognized because it per operating system is different for Downloads – just a general Windows download is indicated there, it almost always involves the 32-bit version.

With plug-ins currently it looks even worse: The directory in x64-wiki contains only the Java Plug-in. Flash and Shockwave there are not in 64 bit.

Google Chrome

Google has announced its Bowser in August last year, 64-bit versions, the first to appear for Linux. At the moment you have to run on Windows x64 32-bit version.

Internet Explorer

Microsoft ships with Windows 7 x64 from both the 32- and the 64-bit version of IE8. However, the pre-installed icons start the old version. The reason for this is also in the many 32-bit add-ons that do not get along with the 64-bit version. The default implementation of the 32-bit IE8 avoids unnecessary support calls at Microsoft.

Opera

The Norwegians are on a 64-bit version for Linux and FreeBSD, Windows users must meanwhile be content with the 32-bit version

Utilities

In addition to the native plugins all browsers today need additional external Web Applications to view non-HTML content:

Adobe Reader: The current version 9.3 is only available in a 32-bit version, which also officially supports Windows x64

PDF-Xchange Viewer: The PDF Viewer is available as a native 64-bit application. It is lighter than the Adobe starts faster, and has been in the free version simple editing functions. For higher claims there is a Pro version, the functions to be unlocked without reinstalling by entering the registration code after purchase.

Flash Player: With Version 11 Adobe finally provides a version for 64-bit browser. The installer includes both 32- and 64-bit version of the player. When downloading, make sure that Adobe would like to install additional programs that are generally undesirable, such as the Google Toolbar or McAfee Security Scan Plus. The selection for this foistware is activated in advance, so you should uncheck here if you do not want these additions.

Java: Here the situation is clear: for the 32-bit browser to Install a 32-bit Java, for a 64-bit browser only a 64-bit Java.

Office

Microsoft Office is the 2010 version the first time in 32 and 64-bit version. Users could especially benefit from 64-bit Excel when complex tables are to be calculated. The higher performance comes at a price but limited compatibility with previous versions.

Existing ActiveX Controls and Comm-addins can not be used any more. In addition, VBA macros no longer work with circumstances if they call functions in external DLLs.

Due to the expected transition problems the Office Setup on Windows x64 installed by default, the 32-bit version, the 64-bit version must be so explicitly selected.

OpenOffice

The current version 3.2 is available in a 64-bit version for various Linux distributions, but not for Windows. In there are no references to the appearance of a 64-bit version for Windows.

Graphic

Free photo editing software with features normally only expensive commercial products offer, such as the work with layers, color curves and transparency.

Image Resizer

It is an open source clone of the Image Resizer Powertoy for Windows XP. By right-clicking on an image in Windows Explorer, the size can be changed.

Programs is

this is a CD / DVD burning program like

CDBurnerXP = better

quite a while InfraRecorder

HDR Photo Pro 5: new photo HDR software for Mac and PC

Franzis brings with HDR Photo Pro 5 is a new powerful and flexible HDR software for digital photography that brings the realistic impression or creative effects to the photo. Also present: three tone-mapping method, which up to 30 parameter settings can be individually controlled by sliders.

From simple bracketing, with an underexposed, overexposed and normal image, or individual RAW files, the software automatically calculates the exact light scope and subject contrast and thereby brings only realistic colors and motif details revealed. The integrated RAW converter is tuned to the tone mapping and processing RAW files with a brightness dynamic range of up to 16-bits, which best results are achieved in the illumination of light and dark areas.

One of the hightlights is the core of the software, the Tonwertkompressor. He works with a specially developed algorithm for real-time processing and brilliant results. Three tone-mapping method same depending on the initial image and result-oriented local contrast areas of the image selectively from which up to 30 parameter settings can be individually controlled by sliders. The “Fast color compressor» compressed for realistic results, the “local color Amplifiers» for rich colors and strong contrasts and “local color compensation” for strengthening local contrasts. Depending on the processing method as bright or dark contrast areas without much loss of detail is sharp colors shown in the drawing and faithful. In particular, landscapes, sunsets and sunrises with variety of colors and clouds play, architectural shots with precise illumination or old technology with sharp design details set signs of the times and tell stories.

The tone mapping methods are also designed for editing surrealistic images that deliver by amplifying the contrast range dramatic natural wonders paintings or similar works.

In addition to classic bracketing, RAW files of all known camera brands such as Canon, Nikon, Panasonic to Hasselblad, also single 8-bit image files are provided for HDR processing. For the presentation of a rich depth of color and intensity on the monitor or in print HDR Photo Pro 5 allows a complete color space management as one of the few software tools in HDR segment.

The automatic alignment of bracketing, ghost removal, noise reduction round off the versatility of the software and let the photographer to concentrate on the essentials.

With the new HDR Photo Pro 5 comes from Franzis a digital HDR photo editor for professional demands. The understandable workflow enables quick and result-oriented work and delivers expressive results in color and black and white photography.

HDR Photo Pro 5 runs on 32- and 64-bit PC and Mac computer and from mid-January in stores or as a download from, including German manual available. The suggested retail price is € 99.00 of the publisher. A cost-effective upgrade of HDR Darkroom HDR Photo Pro 5 is offered.

RAW files expand freedom in HDR Photography

Is this tripod times not at hand or the weather allows no bracketing, outwit RAW files from this shortcoming. The treatment with the powerful RAW converter makes the photographer free of all constraints of the environment through air and allows even downtown shots with moving cars, running and even passers allows HDR images of wildlife photography.

Listed HDR Photo Pro 5 features short

HDR tone-mapping of 32-bit HDR images (bracketing), 8-bit single images and RAW files

Integrated RAW converter for tone-mapping method

Automatic noise reduction and extensive fine-tuning options

Three tone mapping methods with up to 30 parameter settings

Editing of individual color channels and color space management

Vignettes – Lens Correction