Windows operating system comes with several in-built applications that many users never use. There are several free alternatives to these Windows programs, alternatives that consume less system resources and have better functionality and features. Below we take a look at some top alternative programs that you should try out.
Application to avoid: Adobe Reader
Reason– slow, hogs resources, runs annoying helper at startup and insecure
Superior alternative – Sumatra PDF
Sumatra PDF consumes far less system resources and is quite fast even in opening large PDF files. It does not have any adware inside the setup file and there are no ads displayed while using it. Also, the application does not have any problem with browser extensions and it maintains a history of opened documents which helps in easy access.
Application to avoid – Internet Explorer
Reason – less user friendly interface, less functionality and features, fewer browser extensions
Superior Alternative –Firefox
Application to avoid – Windows Live Messenger
Reason – high memory usage, supports only one network at a time.
Superior Alternative – Pidgin
Pidgin is one of the best online messaging clients that lets you exchange instant messages with ICQ, Gmail, MSN, Yahoo!, AIM users from a single app. It works with different protocols simultaneously thus eliminating the need to use multiple proprietary clients. The interface of the application is minimal and it consumes far less system resources. It is also available in a portable version.
Application to avoid – Windows Media Player
Reason – Less user friendly interface, supports few media codecs
Superior Alternative – KMPlayer
KMPlayer is easy to use and has several user friendly features that make it stand out in the crowd. Some of the features that are worth mentioning are Time stretching, pitch shifting, equalizer, remote controllable, and streaming. It also allows the user to change playback speed. All basic playback controls, volume controls are available at the bottom of the app interface. Important information such as total playback time, elapsed time, and remaining time is also displayed in the main app window. It also supports 3rd party codecs.
Application to avoid – Windows Picture Viewer
Reason – very basic interface, does not support all picture formats
Superior alternative- IrfanView
IrfanView is one of the best image viewers you can find. It uses far less system resources and has a host of features. It allows you to view almost every picture format, offers image file conversion tools, and batch mode for large scale image conversions. IrfanView presents you with several image tweaking tools that includes red eye reduction, sharpen image, auto adjust colors, swap colors and several useful photo effects to improve the look of your images.
There is no doubt the super alternative programs presented here are far better in terms of functionality that the default windows programs and best of all – they are free!