Recommendation for essential software on Windows 7

I am setting up new windows 7 client/workstations on a windows 2008 server domain.

Usually any workstation on a network benefits from free software downloads like:

Adobe Reader, flash/shockwave player, pdf converter, ccleaner and java.

Can someone recommend other software tools that would be useful to load on a new workstation in terms of productivity?
I know this comes down to personal preference but I am looking for recommendation of essential type software that most IT professionals would install.

Please include a recommendation on a search tool.
Is it best to stick with windows search or is google desktop search better?
stevenvelIT ConsultantAsked:
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johnb6767Connect With a Mentor Commented:
"Is it best to stick with windows search or is google desktop search better?"

Personally, I think the built in one is fine. GDesktop is a reaource hog in my opinion.... In the Folder Options>Search Tab, there is a "Search file contents " option that improves the built in searching fo content based searches....

I would also prestage the Sysinternals tools, like Process Monitor/TCPView, perhaps in a hidden directory. Comes in handy when you need to quickly launch one.... Tree Size is another one I lilke to satge (free version)...

MBAM professional would also be ideal. Not free, but reasonable in bulk. Complements your AV....

Also like CutePDF. (if not deploying with MS Office, perhaps Open Office or at minimum the Office Viewers)....
sshah254Connect With a Mentor Commented:
I would definitely recommend Chrome, Notepad++, and 7-zip ... get the latest Java VM also if you are building an image.

stevenvelIT ConsultantAuthor Commented:
Thank you.

Yes I am building an image.

In the past I have installed IE.
Does firefox and google chrome co-exist nicely?

What do you use for local file search? i.e. emails, calander items in outlook, word docs .........?
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Run5kConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Good suggestions already!  On our Windows 7 domain workstations, we are also utilizing (and have had great feedback on) the following applications:


VLC media player...

For some additional perspective, unless your end-users absolutely need Java RE, I wouldn't install it.  In our environment there really isn't a compelling need, and it creates another large attack vector.

As far as additional web browsers like Firefox and Chrome, to be honest we skip all of them.  They have some nice features, but none of them present a truly superior package compared to IE9 so we don't see any need to bog down our system images with a redundant set of web browsers.

Hope that helps out a bit!
npinfotechConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I'd throw a password manager in, like password safe or keepass (both free).  
I will echo Johnb6767's sentiments regarding local search.  The built-in Windows search capability is very robust and can be customized even further.  My philosophy has always been to keep Windows builds as streamlined as possible, and Google desktop search doesn't really bring anything to the table that makes it worth the extra effort, expended system resources, etc.
stevenvelIT ConsultantAuthor Commented:

Excellent comments!

Keeping a windows build streamlined sounds very wise.

In view of the comments and improvements in windows 7, I think sticking with IE9 and Windows Search sounds like a good plan.

Thanks for the sysinternals reminder otherwise I may have left this out.

I will include Cute PDF, VLC and 7-zip.

sAiyAnstArConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I have been building new images for PC's for the last few weeks now and have a list of all the applications that I have built into the SOE. (Please note, this is for a Corporate network). Here is my list:

Adobe Reader
IE 8
Direct X
Windows Media Player 11 + CODECS
Chrome - I like giving them a choice of browser
Quicktime - As we have iPhone users
.NET 1, 2 and 3.5

I then ensure that all Windows Updates have downloaded and installed correctly.
stevenvelIT ConsultantAuthor Commented:
All coments useful.
Thank you
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