Now that you've got Windows 7 up and running on your newly partitioned, dual-boot PC, it's time for the next big step in any OS migration: reinstalling your software.
I've always hated this part, as it involves digging out CDs, downloading apps from lots of different sites, and then manually installing everything. Takes forever.
Thankfully, I've found salvation in the form of Ninite, a new service that automatically downloads and installs popular software.
All you do is scroll through Ninite's list of 70-odd apps, check-marking the ones you want. The service offers the most current versions of nearly every popular mainstream program, including Firefox, Skype, OpenOffice, iTunes, Picasa, Steam, and Revo Uninstaller.
Once you've made your picks, click Get Installer to download a small executable file. When you're ready, run that file and sit back while Ninite goes to work.
How long does it take? That depends on how many programs you've selected. I chose a baker's dozen (including the trial version of Office 2007 Standard, which I already own--now I just have to type in the security key), and I'd swear Ninite was done in all of 10 minutes.
I'll bet the service saved me a couple hours of manual labor. It worked flawlessly, and it installed 90 percent of the programs I use regularly. Awesome. Just awesome. And did I mention Ninite is free?