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Software roundup: 18 important downloads you may have missed this week

18 November 2011, Software Publisher

It has been another busy week for software releases, and the chances are that something may have escaped your attention over the past seven days. But fear not, we have collected together some of the highlights of the week in a handy roundup so you can get up to speed. VMWare released a series of updates to it virtualization software, starting with VMware Workstation 8.0.1. The app can be used to run virtual copies of Windows and Linux and the latest version includes graphic performance improvements as well as support for Ubuntu 11. VMware Player 4.0.1 is the free version of the virtualization tool for Windows while VMware Fusion 4.1 is more a major upgrade for Mac users which allows for full screen mode in Lion, improved performance of virtual machines and much more.

But you may well be more interested in looking after your standard copy of Windows rather than a virtual one, and this is where IObit Advanced SystemCare 5 FINAL can help. The updated system optimization tool includes real-time optimization in the form of ActiveBoost while the re-written program uses fewer resources. Sticking to the system utility theme, Quick Erase 0.4 makes it possible to quickly and easily erase files you would rather were not seen by anyone else – for whatever reason. There are twelve secure deletion options to choose from, helping to ensure that the files you delete stay deleted.

If you are more interested in ensuring that your files are backed up rather than deleted, BurnAware Free 4.2 may be right up your street. This free CD, DVD and Blu-ray burning tool can be used to backing up data, burning ISO images and creating audio discs. Also on the creative front, Microsoft Expression Encoder 4.0 SP1 can be used to capture video from a variety of sources, before editing it and converting it for viewing on a range of devices including online broadcasts. This is an example of a program that can be made as simple or as complex as you like, and while it is possible to get results fairly quickly, there are plenty of options here for anyone who wants to get a little more involved.

Skype for Windows 5.7 Beta and Skype for Mac 5.4 Beta both received updates this week, adding the ability to conduct video chats with your Facebook contacts amongst other enhancements. The group chat options of Skype mean that it is an ideal tool for conducting online meetings, but whether you are conducting on- or offline meetings, PointerStick 1.0 could prove to be a valuable tool. This free utility provides you with a large onscreen pointer that can be used to draw attention to thing you want to demonstrate.

Waterfox 8

This is been a quieter week for browser updates, but Waterfox 8.0 has been released. This is a browser for users of 64-bit Windows who can’t wait for the 64-bit version of Firefox as it is based on Firefox code and is virtually indistinguishable from the more common 32-bit version of Mozilla’s browser. The internet can be used for business and pleasure, and when used for entertainment, Game Downloader 2.5 can point you in the direction of dozens of downloadable games. We’ve already mentioned one disc burning tool, but Hamster Free Burning Studio is also worth a mention if only for its pleasingly customizable interface. On the subject of eye-candy, Horloger 1.0 FINAL is an attractive desktop clock for Windows users that will appear familiar to HTC Sense users – good-looking and functional.

For music fans Apple iTunes 10.5.1 (32-bit) and  Apple iTunes 10.5.1 (64-bit) were both updated, adding support for iTunes Match in the United States. If video is more your thing, Freemake Video Downloader 3.0.0 makes it possible to download streaming video from an extensive list of supported sites, while a blast from the past RealPlayer 15 adds the ability to track your friends’ Facebook videos.

Whatever type of software you are looking for, there’s something here from the past week for everyone.

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