1. Computing

Windows Tools and Utilities

For developers - A directory of links to utilities and tools just for the Windows operating system.

All-in-One Coding Standards by Microsoft
This is a comprehensive set of documents published by Microsoft that documents all their current coding standards across many of their technologies including C#, C++ and VB.NET (All three in one) as well as separate ones for Silverlight, COM, ASP.NET, Azure, Office, WPF, Shell etc.

An Eclipse plugin that lets you develop Silverlight Applications
Its a set of tools built around the Eclipse platform to provide XAML viewing and editing and C# code editing, Silverlight viewing as well as working with the Microsoft C# compiler to build and run Silverlight applications.

ASP.NET MVC 3
The latest version of Microsoft's alternative web server technology, based on standard ASP.NET but with Model View Controller (MVC) to manage the generation of web pages instead of code behind pages. This version adds new razor syntax (a template like language) and many improvements.

Cygwin -
Cygwin is a Unix-like environment and command-line interface for Microsoft Windows that makes it possible to launch Windows applications from the Cygwin environment, as well as to use Cygwin tools and applications within the Windows operating context.

Desktops.exe - A Free Utility to give up to Four screens
Desktops is a free downloadable utilit, just 62Kb in size that lets you have up to four virtual desktops. You can configure it to switch on a certain key combination or click the systray icon. it lets you read email on one desktop, browse the web on the second, and work in a third, keeping each desktop simple and uncluttered.

DoLoTo - Download Time Optimization for Web 2.0 Apps
Doloto is an AJAX application optimization tool, useful for large and complex Web 2.0 applications that have a lot of code, such as Bing Maps, Hotmail, etc. It analyzes AJAX application workloads and performs code splitting of large Web 2.0 applications. After processing an application will only transfer the code needed for initialization. The rest comes later.

Download Microsoft® SQL Server® 2008 Express
SQL Server 2008 Express is a free edition of SQL Server that is ideal for learning and building desktop and small server applications, and for redistribution by ISVs. Note, this is the version without the client SQL Server 2008 Management Studio Express

Download Microsoft® SQL Server® 2008 Express with Advanced Services
Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Express with Advanced Services is a free, easy-to-use version of SQL Server Express and includes a graphical management tool and useful features for reporting and advanced text-based searches. It's ideal for small server applications and local data stores.

Download Microsoft® SQL Server® 2008 Express with Tools
Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Express with Tools is a free, version of SQL Server Express with more features that makes it easier than ever to start developing powerful data-driven applications for the web or local desktop. This includes SQL Server 2008 Management Studio Basic.

Free IDE for Borland C++ 5.5 Compiler
Visual Windows for BC++ is a free IDE for developing Windows console, GUI and DLLs using Borland C++ 5.5 compiler. It's available with for download with BC++ or without it. It works with Windows XP, Windows Vista/7 and can import Visual C++ 6.00 projects.

G-Wan - Free Windows webserver than runs C Code
G-WAN is a free small-footprint (barely 100Kb) Web server with C scripts that are executed in real-time with no compiler needed. The G-WAN executed C scripts are as fast as static pages.

Game Maker - Creates games with minimal coding
Game Maker is a system that lets you create games without coding, but allows coding to be done using a C like language GML or even extending it through external DLLs. The system is free but you need the $25 version to get rid of banners etc. It's useful for creating game prototypes etc.

Git Extensions - Windows + Visual Studio Interface to Git
Git Extensions is a toolkit to make working with Git under Windows more intuitive. The shell extension will integrate in Windows Explorer and presents a context menu on files and directories. There is also a Visual Studio plugin to use git from Visual Studio.

H3 Help Viewer for Visual Studio 2010/Visual C++/C#
H3viewer is a free 3rd part application written by Rob Chandler, a Microsoft Help MVP, that uses the Microsoft help installed but displays it in a better way including Indexes, syncing to table of contents and more. It's based on Visual Studio 2008.

Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1
Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1 is a full cumulative update that contains many new features building incrementally upon .NET Framework 2.0, 3.0, 3.5, and includes cumulative servicing updates to the .NET Framework 2.0 and .NET Framework 3.0 subcomponents.

Microsoft Kinect SDK Released (Beta)
Microsoft® Kinect™ for Windows® Software Development Kit (SDK) Beta from Microsoft Research is a starter kit for software developers, to help academic research and enthusiast communities to create software using Kinect sensor technology on the PC. The SDK Beta includes: Drivers, for using a Kinect sensor device with a Windows-based PC, API and device interfaces, together with technical documentation for developers. There's source code samples plus documentation for creatively using natural user interfaces for non-commercial use.

Microsoft SQL Server Compact Edition 3.5
SQL Server Compact 3.5 is a free, easy-to-use embedded database engine that lets developers build robust Windows Desktop and mobile applications that run on all Windows platforms including Windows XP, Vista, Pocket PC, and Smartphone. It's for single user and installs as a dll not a service.

Microsoft SQL Server Express Denali Including LocalDB
SQL Server Express is a free edition of SQL Server for developing and powering desktop, web and small server applications. There is SQL Server 2008 R2 Express or SQL Server Code Name “Denali” CTP3, which includes SQL Server Express LocalDB, a new lightweight deployment option for Express.

Microsoft Visual C# 2010 Express

Microsoft's Visual C# 2010 Express is an excellent and powerful piece of free software (registration is required) that provides an IDE with ful editing and debugging capabilities and a fast C# 4.0 compiler. You can design WinForms and WPF Applications (not Silverlight though) and if you want to learn C#, this is the software to use.

Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 Express
This is the latest version of the free Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 Express Edition. it needs Windows XP, Vista or 7 to run and .NET 4.0 which it will install. As well as a brand new IDE based on WPF, it adds some new C++ 0x features. It is useful for Win 32 and .NEt C++/CLI compilation but does not do MFC (Microsoft Foundation Classes).

MinGW - GNU Compilers and Tools on Windows
MinGW is a collection of freely available and freely distributable Windows specific header files and import libraries, augmenting the GNU Compiler Collection, (GCC), and its associated tools, (GNU binutils). MinGW provides a complete Open Source programming tool set which is suitable for the development of native Windows programs that do not depend on any 3rd-party C runtime DLLs.

Miracle - C Compiler - Shareware C Compiler with Sourec code
the compiler is free to download and use. It;'s only if you want the source code, that you pay $19 for registration plus support from the author. It supports ll traditional C syntax is implemented, including record (struct/union) and enumerated data types, int, long and floating point data types, user type definition. There is a comprehensive library of functions; some example programs demonstrating compiler features; and Windows Helpfile documentation is supplied with the package

PlayGround SDK for Developing C++ Games
The free PlayGround SDK is for creating cross platform games. It supports hardware accelerated 2d animated sprites, 3d models, 2d and 3d polygonal data, Flash cut scenes, sound effects, music, programmable particle systems, customizable GUI widgets, scalable fonts, text effects, game metrics collection, and more. You have to sign up, but it's free and you can publish games elsewhere.

Robocode- fighting Battle Tanks in C#

This is a Java APp but it allows tanks programmed in C# to fight. Install it, follow the instructions for the .NET plugin and then you can start coding C# tanks.

Samples Environment for Microsoft Chart Controls
The samples environment for Microsoft Chart Controls for .NET Framework has over 200 samples for both ASP.NET and Windows Forms. The samples cover every major feature in Chart Controls for .NET Framework. They let you see the Chart controls in action as well as provide code as templates for your own web and windows applications.

Silverlight is the application development platform for Windows Phone 7
Silverlight for Windows Phone supports core Silverlight capabilities in managed .NET code with XAML including, high quality video and audio, Deep Zoom for enhanced reading and photo browsing and Vector and Bitmap Graphics and animation. Plus Silverlight can also access the unique capabilities of the phone including hardware acceleration for video and graphics, accelerometer for motion sensing, Multi-touch, Camera and microphone, Location awareness, Push notifications and Native phone functionality. See also App Hub for Windows Phone 7.

SmallIDE for Borland C++ 5.5 Compiler
Developed by Jörg Hauschild who is into Film editing and sound, SmallIDE is an IDE for the Borland C++ 5.5 compiler. Just download the 370Kb file, unzip and run it. It includes help. you il need to download the Borland C++ compiler separately.

Sysinternals.com tools
Written by experts on low level Windows programming this is a very useful set of tools now on Microsoft's site (the link below redirects) for recording processes, file or registry access and handy for solving knotty "what is accessing that file/registry key" problems and many others.

UDK - Unreal Development Kit
Use this kit to develop non coimmercial games free, or commercial games which are free of royalties until your incomes hits $50,000 at which point you start paying 25% on anything after $50,000. Although UDk is programmed in Unreal Scriupt, it can be interfaced with C++ either via TCP/Ip or calling functions in a Windows Dll. It also lets you develop iOS games (iPad, iPhone) providing you are a registered iPhone Apple developer.

Visual Studio Asynchronous Programming
The new features previewed in the Visual Studio Async CTP (SP1 Refresh) let you write asynchronous programs that are simpler than in existing .NET Framework approaches. Write asynchronous code that looks very much like synchronous code, and let the compiler handle the complications of callback functions or continuation code.

WebMatrix - Microsoft's Web Development for ASP.NET and PHP
Microsoft's WebMatrix is a web development tool for designing ASP.NET and PHP websites. It includes a Web server, database and programming frameworks. It is for developing and testing and deploying ASP.NEt and PHP applications. It also includes free open-source Web applications, including DotNetNuke, Umbraco, WordPress, Joomla!, and more.

WikiTaxi - Search a local Wikipedia
WikiTaxi is a useful standalone Windows application that processes a downloaded Wikipedia compressed xml file (in .bz2) and lets you perform local searches. It needs to generate an index database the first time it's used and this takes over 90 minutes for the full English Wikipedia data (a ~7GB bz2 file)

Windows 8 Developer Previews
This is a Windows Developer Preview, a pre-beta version of Windows 8 for developers. It may be unstable and you should not use it for any kind of production environment! There are 64 and 32 bit versions and the 64 bit developer tools include: 64-bit Windows Developer Preview, Windows SDK for Metro style apps, Microsoft Visual Studio 11 Express for Windows Developer Preview, Microsoft Expression Blend 5 Developer Preview and 28 Metro style apps including the BUILD Conference app

Windows Gpg4win - Free Software for Email Security
Gpg4win is a installer package for Windows (2000/XP/2003/Vista) with computer programs and handbooks for EMail and file encryption. It uses GnuPG encryption.

XSD.exe XMl Schema Definition Tool
A utility available with the Windows SDK for generating code from XML. XSD is a WWW standard used for ddescribing data definition in XML.

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