Most Popular Free Windows Applications Of 2009

Most Popular Free Windows Applications Of 2009

We’ve featured hundreds of free Windows applications over the course for 2009 that we hoped might bolster your productivity, workflow, or your PC usefulness in one form or another. Here’s a look back at the most popular Windows downloads of the year.

As with 2008’s most popular free Windows downloads, keep in mind that the apps featured here are chosen by the popularity of the associated post we published in 2009. Many were new, some were improvements to already loved apps, and others were simply new-to-us. Here’s a quick look back at the 19 or so most popular Windows downloads of 2009:

Windows 7 — from Beta to Release Candidate and So On

Windows 7 beta downloadextendedunderestimated the webreleased the Windows 7 release candidatebeautiful new themes

Folks who were still using Vista also flocked to Vista’s Service Pack 2 (32-bit; 64-bit) to keep their PCs secure and up to date.

Enigma Desktop 2.0 Released, Adds Installer, Widget Manager and Templates

One of our very own readers released his popular desktop configuration as a installable utility that brings a handful of great customisation and productivity tools to your desktop. It’s called Enigma 2.0. Then Rainmeter, another very popular desktop customisation tool, set Enigma as its default desktop. Fancy pants.

Portable Ubuntu Runs Ubuntu Inside Windows

Ever wish you could enjoy some of the finer tools available to Linux but stay comfortably in your Windows desktop? Sure you could run a virtual machine, but Portable Ubuntu for Windows runs an entire Linux OS as a Windows application. Better yet, it’s portable.

Seven Remix XP Makes Windows XP Look Like Windows 7

The release of Windows 7 left a lot of XP users wishing they could get in on some of that snazzy new eye candy. Seven Remix XP is a free utility that does its best to bring Windows 7 comely looks to XP.

Ninite Bulk-Installs Great Free Windows Apps

Ninite2009 Lifehacker Pack

Windows 7 Shortcuts Enables the Best Win7 Shortcuts in XP or Vista

Apart from all the new eye candy, Windows 7 really tickled our fancy with tons of incredible new keyboard shortcuts. For folks still chilling out with XP or Vista, we released Windows 7 Shortcuts, a lightweight utility developed to bring some of the best new shortcuts of Windows 7 to previous versions of Windows.

Computer Repair Kit Packs Dozens of Tools in One Portable Package

By virtue of reading Lifehacker, you’re more likely than not the most schooled person among your friends and family when it comes to fixing a bum PC. It’s a dubious honour, because it also means you generally are the person who gets called when something goes wrong. Computer Repair Utility Kit puts a handful of useful PC repair utilities in one handy, portable suite.

Fences is a Seriously Awesome Desktop Icon Organiser

Like to keep items you want to access frequently easily accessible on your desktop but don’t want to deal with the added clutter? Fences arranges your cluttered desktop icons into containers so you can clean up the mess into useful groups of shortcuts — or optionally hide them altogether.

AVG 9 Free Antivirus

Microsoft’s security tools are good enoughMicrosoft Security Essentials antivirus appAVG 9 Freefavourite antivirus app of Lifehacker readers

Google Chrome — Stable, Beta and Dev Releases

Google Chromejust over a year oldstable 2.0 releaseChrome 3.0 release in Septemberbeta and dev channelspower user’s guide to Google Chrome

Safari 4 Tempts with Good Looks

Safari‘s move to Windows came with a lot of bugs and some serious eye candy, but despite the interest at release, we can’t imagine many people still stick with Safari on Windows over, say, Firefox, Chrome, Opera, etc.

Namebench Helps You Find the Fastest DNS Server for Your Computer

announced a free DNS servicenamebenchDNS Name Server Benchmark

Google Earth 5.0 Beta Released, Looks Incredible

We’re sort of junkies for maps and 3D, so when Google Earth 5 was released, we were pleased as punch. The update featured historical imagery, ocean maps and improved world touring capabilities. Maybe we just like saving ourselves some dough in these tough economic times with a little Google Earth sightseeing.

And Then There Was Firefox

Firefoxbig Firefox 3.5 release1234

Motion Detection Is an Effective, Dead Simple Security Camera App

Motion Detection

Thunderbird 3 Officially Released with New Features, Improved Look


HandBrake Updates to 0.9.4 with Over 1000 Changes, 64-Bit Support

Free, open-source DVD ripping and encoding tool HandBrake released a pretty saucy update last month with a ton of fixes and improvements. It’s no coincidence that it’s always been one of our favourites, and this year’s big-ish (but still not 1.0) update should only help keep it there.

DeskHedron Adds 3D Virtual Desktop Eye-Candy to Windows

Linux users have a killer desktop management tool called Compiz Fusion that puts multiple desktop management on a 3D cube that we’ve always been jealous of on Windows. Open-source application DeskHedron brings a similar three-dimensional desktop management tool to Windows users.

Got a favourite Windows download from 2009 that you’d add to your list of favourites? Let’s hear about it in the comments. If you’re craving still more popular Windows downloads, you can also take a look back at the the most popular free Windows downloads of 2008.


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