Extensions for Windows isn’t freeware and so this review may seem out of place here on gHacks, however I managed to score some free licenses to give away to you guys, just comment below!
Extensoft released their brand new product, Extensions for Windows only a few months ago after intensive beta testing for over two years, in fact I believe some leaked screenshots led people to think what they where seeing was Windows 7.
What is it?
Extensions for Windows is a set of tools and applications which are designed to ‘upgrade’ your Windows installation with new features and functionality, the kinds of things power users find themselves wanting on a regular basis.
I asked Eugene Zvyagintsev, Extensoft’s project manager a few questions,
You’ve been working on this project for about 2 years. Did the idea for this release come about from Windows Vista’s release and a perceived lack of ‘power user’ features?
[Eugene] Actually we came up with the idea 4 years ago. Windows XP was a mature product then, but was still lacking sufficient features and flexibility. We started tinkering with some concepts and ideas and then accelerated the development since we felt more confident that we could provide a useful product at a great value. When Vista came along, we could see that it was still lacking in many areas while being quite confusing to some XP users.
How did you come up with the initial set of tools and applications? Any scouring of message boards involved? Or were these features which you constantly found yourself wanting when using Windows?
[Eugene] Probably the latter. As Windows power users ourselves, we feel what the majority of Windows users feel. However, we validated many of our ideas by reading blogs and articles that often praised Windows, but also pointed out its flaws and issues.
Perhaps the biggest thing for many users is the fact that a lot of the features provided in this suite can be found for free in other products. Eugene thinks it’s not that simple,
[Eugene] The main question we asked ourselves was what someone would choose if Microsoft released a sensible and functional Windows upgrade at a reasonable price? Would Windows users choose to continue looking for and download a variety of free tools?; Or would they rather choose to install a better version of Windows with the same features?”
And what should less technical users do? There are those who don't know how to look for, what to download, and how to use such software. Many of us, experienced users, act as technical support among friends and family. We often get phone calls from friends asking us how to resize an image, how to create a PDF document, another time how to open or convert a document. This can go on and on. And we tell them: download this, install that, and then call me back so I can explain to you how to use it. Wouldn't it be much easier for everyone if Windows simply included more functionality that is immediately accessible and feels familiar?
Therefore, we wanted to create a single and standardized product that we could recommend to all our friends and families…then only to occasionally answer basic questions from them. The thing Extensions really does for them is it gives them peace of mind.
He has a good point, but it’s up to you to decide. The product is sold for $50 for a one year license, that license provides unlimited upgrades, support and access to new products over the year. The current plan is to “polish things up” before releasing an additional 3 products to bring the “total number to 15 by the end of the year”.
I’ve been using them myself now for a few months and my personal opinion is that these tools are still a little rough around the edges. Performance is very good normally, however a couple tools (such as the task manager extension) caused some CPU spikes when running in the background, hopefully things like this will be fixed with time.
Anyway, to win 1 of 5 free licenses simply comment below telling us what you would want if you could choose one feature to be added to Windows… just one.
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