lunes, 2 de enero de 2012

Happy New Year 2012: Free Software and Tools from Microsoft

1.      AutoCollage
Photo collages celebrate important events and themes in our lives. Pick a folder, press a button, and in a few minutes AutoCollage presents you with a unique memento to print or email to your family and friends.

2.      Photosynth
Photosynth takes your photos, mashes them together and recreates a 3D scene out of them that anyone can view and move around in. Different than static photos and video, Photosynth allows you to explore details of places, objects, and events unlike any other media. You can’t stop video, move around and zoom in to check out the smallest details, but with Photosynth you can. And you can’t look at a photo gallery and immediately see the spatial relation between the photos, but with Photosynth you can!

3.      Image Composite Editor
Microsoft Image Composite Editor is an advanced panoramic image stitcher. Given a set of overlapping photographs of a scene shot from a single camera location, the application creates a high-resolution panorama that seamlessly combines the original images.

4.      Microsoft Songsmith
Ever sing in the car? Maybe in the shower? You know who you are. Admit it, you like to sing, and you like music. Ever thought of writing your own music? Most people never get a chance to try... but we want to give everyone a piece of the songwriting experience, so we’ve developed Songsmith, an application that lets you create a complete song just by singing!

5.      Photo Story 3
Create slideshows using your digital photos. With a single click, you can touch-up, crop, or rotate pictures. Add stunning special effects, soundtracks, and your own voice narration to your photo stories. Then, personalize them with titles and captions. Small file sizes make it easy to send your photo stories in an e-mail. Watch them on your TV, a computer, or a Windows Mobile–based portable device. And yes, even though it says "for XP", it totally works on Windows Vista and Windows 7.

6.      Windows Live Movie Maker
With Windows Live Movie Maker, you can quickly turn your photos and videos into polished movies. Add special effects, transitions, sound, and captions to help tell your story. And sharing with friends and family is easy—whether on the web, a computer, TV, mobile device, or a DVD.*

Other Free Tools from Microsoft:
This is a list of more free tools from Microsoft that many teachers have found useful.  If you have time, explore them...

Montage is a shareable, personal, visual album of the web. You are able to design your personal Montage around a topic by adding content that pulls information from a variety of sources including, RSS feeds, Twitter, Bing News, YouTube, video and Bing Images. Your Montage is constantly evolving as you arrange each area with the content of your choice - which is easy, intuitive and fun; and can be on any topic from, movies, sports, to robots.

Community Clips
Community Clips – Free Screen recording utility. So if you see yourself as a software guru you can start creating your own How-to tutorials and How-to guides with this screen capturing software recorder.

WorldWide Telescope
WorldWide Telescope (WWT) enables your computer to function as a virtual telescope, bringing together imagery from the best ground and space-based telescopes in the world. Experience narrated guided tours from astronomers and educators featuring interesting places in the sky.

Kodu is a new visual programming language made specifically for creating games. It is designed to be accessible for children and enjoyable for anyone. The programming environment runs on the Xbox, allowing rapid design iteration using only a game controller for input.

Math 4.0
From basic math to pre-calculus, Microsoft Mathematics 4.0 can help you visualize and see mathematical concepts as you’ve never seen them before. This free downloadable tool includes step-by-step instructions and explains fundamental concepts. The wide range of tools to help students with complex mathematics includes a full-featured graphing calculator that’s designed to work just like a hand-held calculator and ink handwriting support to recognize hand-written problems.

Windows Live Writer
You can create beautiful blog posts, and see what they'll look like online before you publish them to your blog. Plus, you can publish your posts to any of your favorite blog service providers

How much storage do you carry around on that flash drive? SkyDrive is 25gb of file storage along with Windows Live services that allow users to upload files to the cloud, then access them from any web browser.

You may ask "accessing my documents anywhere is great but what about editing my Word, PowerPoint or Excel documents online?" Enter the Microsoft Office Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote Web Apps! With these streamlined companion programs you can easily open you document in a browser and make light changes. Later when you get home or school you can reopen them with the full version of Microsoft Office 2007/2010 to complete your work! Nothing is lost in the cloud!

Office Web Apps
Whether you’re in the office, at home, or on the road, Microsoft Office Web Apps help you get more things done virtually anywhere and anytime. These convenient online companions to Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote offer you an easy way to access, view, and edit documents directly from your Web browser.

Windows Live Mesh
Access the stuff on your computers from almost anywhere. With Windows Live Mesh and the Devices website, you can finally stop emailing files to yourself, carrying them around on a USB drive, or worrying whether the version you have with you is the latest.

Sticky Sorter
Support virtual collaboration in managing your next class brainstorm session.
Sticky Sorter is a Grassroots Project, developed by two Microsoft Employees, that you can use today to manage such challenges. The inventors, Julie and Sumit, were looking for an easier way to capture, sift through, and organize hundreds of research observations traditionally done on physical sticky notes in an affinity diagramming exercise with researchers from around the world. The result is StickySorter which met their complex needs, supports virtual collaboration, and is now available for you to use in managing your next brainstorm.

Flashcards is a Silverlight web application where you can create, share, and study online flashcards. Find a deck in the community, or create your own. Decks can have up to 300 cards, and each card can have any combination of text, image, and sound on the front and the back. Start with Review mode if you don't know the content at all. Otherwise, skip ahead to Study or Type It In modes. Study mode is based on the honor system, and Type It In checks the correct answer with what you typed in. Want a challenge? Try swapping fronts and backs then studying again.

Mouse Mischief
Mouse Mischief integrates into Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 and Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007, letting you insert questions, polls, and drawing activity slides into your lessons. Students can actively participate in these lessons by using their own mice to click, circle, cross out, or draw answers on the screen.

Ribbon Hero 2
Do you feel like you're using Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote the same way version after version, or have you avoided using one of these apps because you don't know how? And you know there's so much more Office could be doing for you if only you knew how to access it? No more! Straight from the secret lairs of Office Labs we present Ribbon Hero 2:
Clippy's Second Chance. 

Yes, we turned Office into a game! If you're going to spend time immersed in the inner workings of Office, by golly it should be fun. In Ribbon Hero 2, you’ll hop on board Clippy's stolen time machine and explore different time periods. With each time period, you get to explore a new game board with challenges you must complete to get to the next level. Each challenge takes you into Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or OneNote to complete a task. Discover new Office features by actually using them, with a hint button to fall back on in case you get stuck. Race for a high score with colleagues, classmates and friends, or even put your score on your resume to show off your Office skills!

PPT Plex
pptPlex uses Plex technology to give you the power to zoom in and out of slide sections and move directly between slides that are not sequential in your presentation. Watch the videos below to see how pptPlex can help you organize and present information in a non-linear fashion. Test drive pptPlex and wow your audience with your next presentation.

Learning Essentials for Microsoft Office
Sometimes the hardest part about completing a project is getting started. Learning Essentials provides you with assignment-specific guidance in Microsoft Office applications such as Word, PowerPoint and Excel.

Creative projects, science activities, data collection, essays and reports, research and brainstorming, presentations – the list goes on. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find a curriculum area not addressed by Learning Essentials and Microsoft Office.
Learning Essentials adds value right across the curriculum, including key subjects such as English, Maths, Science, Foreign Languages and Information and Communications Technology (ICT).

Interactive Classroom
Works with Microsoft PowerPoint 2010, Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007, Microsoft OneNote 2010, and Microsoft Office OneNote 2007. This add-in connects a teacher’s PowerPoint presentation to students’ OneNote notebooks. During a presentation, teachers can: Poll students with multiple choice, true/false, or yes/no questions. Distribute the lesson to students with OneNote Include real-time ink and text annotations. Students can answer and respond through their individual OneNote notebooks, hand-held clickers, or computers, and the results display in the presentation. Students also get consolidated notes that match those of the instructor so they can keep track of what they need to learn.

Do you spend a lot of time searching for worksheets with practice problems to give your students? Now you can easily create your own in just a few seconds with the Math Worksheet Generator. This is a tool that generates multiple math problems based on a sample, and then creates a worksheet that you can distribute. By analyzing the math problem you provide, or one of the built-in samples, the generator determines the structure of the expression and provides similar problems. We tack on an answer sheet too.

Bing Translator
Free online translation service for a truly worldwide web. Language translation tool that can translate text excerpts or complete web pages into a range of languages.

Bing Visual Search
Explore Visual Search galleries instead of lists and pictures instead of descriptions to find exactly what you’re looking for, or discover something new.

Bing Apps

Now you can discover, create, and share Microsoft Office documents with your Facebook friends. Built using Microsoft Office 2010 – Docs for Facebook provides the best possible document service for the Facebook environment. Seamless integration with Facebook means that the service is all about sharing your documents. Finally docs can be friendly too!

The primary goal of ChronoZoom is to make time relationships between different studies of history clear and vivid. In the process, it provides a framework for exploring related electronic resources. It thus serves as a "master timeline" tying together all kinds of specialized timelines and electronic resources, and aspires to bridge the gap between the humanities and the sciences and to bring together and unify all knowledge of the past.

Creative Commons Add-in for Office
This add-in for Microsoft Office enables authors and editors to embed Creative Commons licenses directly into Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel documents. With a Creative Commons license, authors can express their intentions regarding how their works may be used by others. The add-in allows the selection of a license, downloads it from the Creative Commons website, and inserts it directly into the working document.

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