In case you didn't catch the latest episode of On The Verge, I tried to convince Josh to switch to Windows and walked him through some tips and tricks. I went through everything from killing crapware to some new really awesome-looking apps. Below you will find the full segment and a list of all the apps and tricks I recommended. These tweaks may not be enough to convince you to switch from Mac OS X, but they sure do make Windows a lot more fun and eye-catching!
Getting rid of that crapware
SlimCleaner - This is easiest way to get rid of those WildTangent games or all those included utilities you'll probably never use. For those who are unfamiliar with what to remove, SlimCleaner includes reviews of preloaded programs and descriptions of what they do. [Download]
The good old-fashioned control panel - For those a bit more familiar with what needs to go, the Control Panel is the way to go. Select the app you hate, hit uninstall, and wait while it leaves your hard drive.
Reinstall Windows 7 - Referred to in the segment as the sledgehammer, the best way to get a completely clean version of Windows 7 is to actually buy a fresh copy and install it. It is also the priciest way to accomplish this; Windows Home Premium starts at $119.99. You can also find a Win 7 install disc and use the registration key that comes with your computer. [Buy Windows]
Cleaning up the desktop
Replace the wallpaper - Most Windows laptops come with some ugly preloaded wallpaper; replace it with something cool. I used this awesome NASA image on the Asus Zenbook in the segment.
Rainmeter - This is for the generic desktop haters. I equated it to Launcher Pro for Windows 7: you can create widgets, customize sidebars, and make the desktop whatever you want it to be. [Download Rainmeter]
Fences - The name says it all. Create "fences" for your desktop icons and organize them however you'd like. [Download Fences]
MetroTwit - If you like the Metro-styling of Windows 8 and Windows Phone 7, this is the Twitter app for you. Seriously, it's one of the best looking ones out there. [Download MetroTwit]
Pokki - Pokki may be in beta, but it allows you to add small applets to the Windows TaskBar, including ones for Gmail, Facebook, and Twitter. They pop up right from the bar and don't require you to launch your browser window. [Download Pokki]
PostBox - It may cost $30, but PostBox is a killer Outlook alternative. It also brings in your Gmail labels, has QuickReply functions, and, as demoed in the segment, has animated GIF support! [Download PostBox]
Prism - If none of those email solutions work for you, you can use Prism to make a Gmail web app on your desktop. Or you can just use the program to create a standalone Verge shortcut. [Download Prism]