You might remember my post titled "". This has a similar theme.
Recently I've had to work with win7, due to some funky workgroup stuff and I've found the OS reasonably tolerable with some additions.
This is basically a windows packet manager, once you select the items to be install from the website it'll give you an exe and automatically install everything.
Keep the installer around as once you run it again it will check for updates.
2) Ashampoo WinOptimizer.
This is a piece of software i used to run back when i was a full time windows user. It's still good (and in my opinion better then CCleaner)
It includes dozens of tweaks It's a bit hard to describe in writing.
I used to be a big fan of Nero, i haven't touched it in years. Last week i checked it out again, it was sad to see
the bloated mess it had become. Infrarecorder is a feature rich but clean app that burns CDs/DVDs.
It you want to make Audio CDs out of mp3s you have to give it a path to liblame.
If you have a large music library, you know about foobar2000. It's honestly the only app i missed under linux.
It can organize the screen in a bunch of different ways and has an acceptable memory footprint.
5) Microsoft Security Essentials.
I don't really need an AV but i thought i should keep one around , MSE is lightish and has a decent record . That's basically it.
I considered ClamWin but to be honest, it's a piece of shit.
Installing an AV took me back to my first ever software purchase (Nortons AV, one of the early 2000 editoins) which was about $80.00
6) The SysInternals Suite.
Essentially Autoruns, process explorer and Process monitor. There are very few MS employees that have a cult following but Mark Russinovich is one of them
He has a really good blog that everyone should check out.
I always cringe when i see computer literate people using winrar. It's fucking terrible. 7-zip can extract anything winrar can and more. The 7z algorithm is also very good.
8) Foxit reader.
Forget Adobe. it's a bloated POS. To be fair it's better then it used to be but it's stil bad.
Foxit is light, fast and does th job.
Ideally the windows file transfer utility should be like teracopy. It noticeably transfers files faster, you can actully pause an operation and it gives better feedback (and more accurate ETAs).
10) Miranda IM.
Instant messaging client. Pidgin is acceptable as well but i try to avoid GTK apps under windows, they tend to be buggy. Miranda is very modular, so you'll have to install plug-ins for basic functionality.
I've tried to avoid basic crap like "install VLC" because that's boring. I hope you found this useful and pray i haven't embarrassed myself with my Windows ignorance.