Active Virtual Desktop
One feature of Linux and Leopard that Vista doesn't have that is very useful is multiple virtual desktops. I tried several 3rd party apps. available on the Windows platform. Of these the best I found is a little shareware app appropriately named Active Virtual Desktop. A small 1.25 MB download, the app works basically the same as virtual desktops on Linux. Numbered tabs in the lower right hand side of your task bar allow you to quickly change between desktops and applications without cluttering up one desktop. Its especially nice for keeping your email, calendar, and Word documents accessible and convenient. Active Virtual Desktop is 20 bucks and can be found here http://www.active-virtual-esktop.com/index.html a free 15 day trial is available and worth a try.
Acronis True Image
The plethora of backup programs available can muddy the waters a little, sometime its best to go back to an old reliable program you know just works. When you want to create an exact image of your hard drive, including operating system and all installed applications and data Acronis True image will do the trick. I recently used it to move my data on my Lenovo Thinkpad to a larger hard drive. The process took a little over an hour including changing the hard drives into the notebook. Booting into the new hard drive confirmed success, all three operating systems worked fine, all the data was intact. Acronis True Image 11 can be had on Amazon now for 29.99 http://www.amazon.com/Acronis-True-Image-11-Home/dp/B000VLZCEW/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=software&qid=1218343390&sr=8-1
Windows Live Calendar
The Windows Live Suite of free applications continues to get better with several recent updates. The Live Calendar while still in beta is every bit as good as Google calendar. What's to say about a calendar, it works great, email reminders, color coded event categories, it's all seamless and works great with your Windows Live mail accounts. I wish it had a built in desktop client similar to the mail client, hopefully that will be coming soon.