Windows Rejuvenated

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New-Look Windows the Third-Party Way

Transparent windows, lightning-fast file searches, a three-dimensional workspace--these are a few of the interface enhancements promised in the next version of Windows, code-named "Longhorn." But you don't have to wait the year-plus it will take for these features to arrive in the new OS. Ingenious software developers have added these and other useful new tools to the current version of Windows. Here are four of our favorites, two free, and two others only $20 each:

Idea2's free Desktop Sidebar puts the information you need right on your desktop.

Actual Tools' $20 Actual Transparent Windows lets you see through the windows open on your screen.

Spatial Research's $20 Spaces converts your desktop into a three-dimensional space.

Copernic Technologies' free Copernic Desktop Search makes finding your files a breeze.

Contributing Editor Lincoln Spector writes the Answer Line column. To find his other technology and humorous writings, go to
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