Freebie Friday 9/23: 5 Free Microsoft Products for IT Pros

Welcome to the inaugural Freebie Friday, the feature that will highlight some of the best current Microsoft products, from software to ebooks, that won't cost you a cent. After checking out this week's batch, send us your suggestions for products that should be included to future editions at [email protected]

  • Attack Surface Analyzer- While still in beta, this is a great application for cataloging and troubleshooting when problems occur after the installation of new software and applications. The software takes a snapshot of your system state before and after an app or software has been installed. It will also alert you to the threat level of a particular software during installation.

  • AutoRuns - This program allows you to view and manage third-party start-up programs that could be causing long boot ups in Windows. Keep what you need and disable what you don't. While AutoRuns has been around for a while (since 2004), it was recently updated last month to support all versions of Windows 7.

  • Microsoft Standalone System Sweeper - Another Microsoft tool that is still in beta, this one features a couple of functions. It allows you to perform an offline scan of a system, even when Windows won't boot up. It also is helpful for installing on systems that won't install third-party antivirus software due to malware issues.

  • Springboard for Windows (Windows Phone 7) - You can grab this app for free from the Zune store. It provides videos, whitepapers, webcasts, FAQs and guides for troubleshooting and optimizing Windows servers and clients. Also check out Microsoft's Springboard for Office, also found for free in the app store.

  • Microsoft Office 365: Connect and Collaborate Virtually Anywhere, Anytime, by Katherine Murray (eBook) - This book looks like a good reference for those wanting a crash course on Microsoft's office cloud offering. While providing a breakdown of each of the components of Office 365, it will show you how to utilize the suite in the enterprise.


About the Author

Chris Paoli is the site producer for and


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