Windows™ Operating Systems


Libraries Links & Descriptions
Visual Basic 1-4 VB1,2,3,4 Runtime Libraries
VB5 VB5 Runtime Libraries
VB6 VB6 Runtime Libraries

Multimedia Frameworks

Multimedia Frameworks Links & Descriptions
DirectX End-User Runtime DirectX 11
This is needed for many multimedia applications
.NET Framework 4 .NET Framework 4
Microsoft's latest framework for visually dependant applications
Microsoft's answer to Flash, used primarily for website multimedia

Utilities Oversized PST & OST Crop Tool

PST and OST files are the storage files used by Outlook to hold all the e-mails for a given account. However, they have a known size limitation of 2GB's. Once a storage file surpasses that limit, it becomes virtually unusable and very problematic. This is an issue that has plagued Microsoft for years, but was never addressed, which was shortsighted on their part. However, in 2010 they corrected that by finally releasing this tool which allows you to split files that have surpassed their useful limit into smaller chunks. PowerShell

In 2006 Microsoft introduced this command shell replacement that does a lot more than the standard DOS window. It's not for the uninitiated, though. WinCmdRef

Microsoft offers this reference library for all of their command line functions and programs. Windows HLP File Reader

Old HLP files won't work in Vista. Microsoft corrected this in Wndows 7, but you can download this tool to fix this poorly made decision in Vista. Windows Live Essentials

This package installs any combination of Windows Live E-mail (which you should use to replace Outlook Express if you're still using XP), Photo Gallery, Movie Maker, Messenger (which you should also use to replace the buillt in Windows Messenger), Writer, Outlook Connector and Live Sign-In. You can also install the Family Safety option and Toolbar if you want, but I never do. I find both of them annoying.

Recovery Tools Windows Vista & Windows 7 Recovery Disk ISO's (32/64)

These are not Microsoft products, but after-market compilations designed to help recover from major Operating System crashes. Download the ISO image that matches your system and burn it to disk. Then, pray that you never need to use it to save your own system.

Service Packs

Service Packs Links & Descriptions
Official Windows Service Packs
Service Packs for Windows XP, Vista & Windows 7
Win98 SE SP2.1a
You can't get the official SP1 anymore. That must be installed before this unofficial Service Pack.

Virtual Machines Virtual PC 2007 SP1

Microsoft released this Virtual Machine for use with XP and Vista. Virtual PC with XP Mode

With Windows 7 came a whole new level of integration through the advent of XP Mode, which essentially meant that people could now download a free copy of the XP Professional Operating System when they bought any of the Business and Enterprise level versions of Windows 7. VirtualBox

This is not a Microsoft product, but is one of the best virtual machines on the market.

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