Whether through oversight or benevolence, Microsoft has created a booming market for utilities that make up for weaknesses or missing functionality in its operating systems. One area in particular that's been ripe for developers is file management, as Windows Explorer generally doesn't win kudos for ease-of-use and power. PowerDesk 4.0 is designed to compensate for its shortcomings.
PowerDesk 4.0 and PowerDesk 4.0 Pro offer a wealth of functions that make them indispensable utilities. The ability to view disks with vertical or horizontal panes alone is worth the price of admission. With dual panes, you can easily drag files or folders from one location to another. Another asset is the tightly integrated zip manager, which makes it easy to extract to -- or from -- specific directories, regardless of where the zip file resides.
Both offer superb file viewing capabilities, an enhanced file finder, and extensive system CPU and memory monitoring capabilities, that make Windows more friendly and useful.
The "Pro" version supports more file types and graphics formats than the basic version and sports an integrated drag-and-drop FTP manager, and a folder synchronizer that keeps laptops and desktops in synch.
Setup is a breeze and the menus are intuitively structured so you can experiment with various options. The EasyUpdate feature ensures that your version is always up-to-date
If you're looking for a replacement for Windows Explorer, you can't go wrong with PowerDesk 4.0, plus it's free from the Ontrack site (www.ontrack.com). The Pro Version, at less than $20, is also a bargain. Either way, once you use PowerDesk you'll never want to boot up without it.
MANUFACTURER: Ontrack Data International; 800-645-3649; www.ontrack.com/power desk
PRICE: Version 4.0: free; Version 4.0 Pro: $19.95, $9.95 upgrade
PROS: Superior replacement for Windows Explorer; great features and functionality enhance Windows computing
CONS: Options can be overwhelming