Windows: If you're upgrading to Windows 7 from XP, you'll spend a lot of time grabbing installers and Next-Next-Next-clicking through setup wizards. Unless you use Ninite to check off the best free software and install it all at once.
This post can be fairly short because Ninite works exactly as advertised. Head to Ninite's web site, check off the free downloads you want from each category, grab the custom installer download that it serves up, and run it. Ninite runs through each installation with an absolute minimum of pop-up questions—none of them, in face, with most installs—and then it's done.
The selection is pretty great, too, with many of the must-have apps we've fawned over in the past like VLC, Audacity, IrfanView, Paint.Net, uTorrent and many more. In fact, Ninite offers the majority of our 2009 Lifehacker Pack, give or take a few recommendations.
Ninite's installers are free downloads for Windows systems only.