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Roundup: 32 – count ‘em – great software releases you may have missed this week

16 March 2012, Software Publisher

This has been a week dominated by news about hardware releases from Apple, but there has still be plenty going on in the software world. If you’re running Windows but like the idea of trying out different operating systems, or just installing a different version of Windows without the need for dual booting, VirtualBox 4.1.10 (build 76836) may be what you’re looking for. When you’re running virtual system in this way you can use VirtualBox Extension Pack 4.1.10 to add extra features such as better USB performance and networking booting.

You may be more interested in boosting the performance of your real rather than virtual computer, and IObit Advanced SystemCare FINAL is a well balance system optimization and maintenance suite that enables you to do just that. To stay in control of your system and make the best possible use of available resources, take a look at Task Manager DeLuxe which is an enhanced version of the tool that is built into Windows.

Mozilla's release schedule sees a raft of Firefox updates this week

No roundup would be complete without its fair share of browser updates, and this week we have seen a bumper batch of releases. Firefox 11 FINAL has seen few updates besides improved synching but it has moved to the stable channel and there is also a portable version available – Firefox Portable 11.0. Users of 64-bit versions of Windows can take advantage of the speed, stability and security of Waterfox 11.0 while anyone who wants to take a glimpse into the next version of Mozilla’s browser need look no further than Firefox 12 Beta. Should you fancy peering further into the future, there is also the alpha version of the browser – Firefox Aurora 13.0a2. Although yet to be classed as stable, there are a number of interesting new features such as a new tab page and other interface changes.

Comodo Dragon is an ultra secure browser based on Chrome

For fans of the very latest releases, Firefox Nightly 14.0a1 (32-bit) and Firefox Nightly 14.0a1 (64-bit) are testing grounds for more experimental features and are only recommended for more advance users. Firefox 14.0a1 UX (32-bit) and Firefox 14.0a1 UX (64-bit) provide a glimpse of what you can expect even further down the line and includes features that may or may not find their way into the main release branch such as a new home tab. If security is a concern for you, Comodo Dragon is a security focus browser that is based on Google Chrome that is worth checking out.

The new Thunderbird alphas and betas show the future direction of the email client

Mozilla is most famous for its web browser, but the company also has an email client in the form of Thunderbird 11 FINAL. This latest version includes better handling of tabs and improved importing of data from Outlook, while Thunderbird 12.0 Beta includes enhanced global searching and range of bug fixes. Just as there are beta and alpha versions of Firefox, the same is true of Thunderbird, and if you’d like to see where the email client is heading, Mozilla Earlybird 13.0a2 gives you a good idea. One final release from Mozilla this week – Mozilla SeaMonkey 2.8. This internet suite includes not only a web browser and email client, but also an HTML editor and more. And finally on the browser front, Apple Safari 5.1.4 boasts drastically improve JavaScript performance.

Keep your software up to date with SUMo

When online it is important to stay safe, and there have been a number of security tools released this week. Comodo Internet Security Premium 2012 v5.10 is a free security suite that includes antivirus and firewall protection – but you can also download and install these components separately: Comodo Antivirus 2012 v5.10 and Comodo Firewall 2012 v5.10. Keeping software up to date is an important factor in ensuring the security of your computer, and SUMo 3.0.0 is a free tool that checks your system and lets you know if any of your applications are out of date and points up in the directions of any available downloads.

Using a computer involves working with files, and if you use more than one computer you may need a way to transfer files between machines. Bitdefender Safebox 1.0 provides a free and secure means of doing just this, enabling you to encrypt files and store them online in a secure account so only you can access them. When it comes to working with local files, an advanced search tool is essential for anyone who creates a large number of documents. Instant File Search Professional 1.3 is a powerful search tool that harks back to the search tool that used to be found in Windows. If you have files on your hard drive that you would like to convert into PDF format, look no further than Nitro PDF Reader 2.3 32-bit or Nitro PDF Reader 2.3 64-bit which, despite being available free of charge, are packed with incredible feature that leave you in control of the PDF creation process.

Audacity 2.0 marks the first stable release for this open-source audio tool in over six years.

This week’s big hardware release may have been the new iPad, but if you have an iPhone, you’ll want to take a look at iPhone Backup Extractor Free 3.3.5 which can be used to backup and restore data from your phone – in fact, despite the name, it can be used with any iOS device. A handy utility for your desktop computer is Restarter 2.0 which, as the name suggests, can be used to automate the restarting of programs – such as when they crash or you close them accidentally. The final batch of tools in this week’s roundup are all audio utilities, starting with Audacity 2.0 FINAL – the update that has been six years in the making! Audiggle takes an idea that will be familiar to owners of iOS and Android devices. If you’ve ever struggled to identify a song, this is an app that will be able to reveal the name of a track you hear on the radio or TV. And if you’re a fan of online radio, streamWriter is an extremely useful tool that can be used to record two stations at the same time and even automatically split recordings into individual tracks.

Remember to keep one eye on Downloadcrew Giveaway this coming week. During the next 24 hours, you can download Xara Xtreme 5, worth $79. On Monday we’re giving away Ashampoo WinOptimizer 8 (yes, it’s a repeat, but it was the first offer we ran when we launched “Giveaway” in December) and two other full apps lined up for next week which will be confirmed and announced on Monday.

That’s it for this week –there are another seven exciting days of releases ahead of us… join us this time next week for another roundup.

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