Microsoft Windows Live Safety Center
Provides online virus and spyware scanning; can enhance PC performance by removing junk files and optimizing your hard drive. A related service, Windows Defender, continuously monitors your computer for spyware. Both are betas. Cost: Free.
Software-and-hardware product protects hard drive with 128-bit AES encryption. Unlocked only by USB key and password. Cost: $70.
Microsoft Color Control Panel Applet
Art geeks will appreciate Vista’s color management tools. Marketing department can’t wait that long? Give them this color-management utility for Windows XP. Cost: Free.
Axantum Software AxCrypt
Freeware utility integrates into Explorer and lets you encrypt any file folder with 128-bit AES encryption just by right-clicking. Cost: Free.
Microsoft Alt-Tab Replacement
Makes Windows XP “skinnable,” so you can redecorate your interface with any of several thousand downloadable themes—including some very Vista-like looks. Cost: $20; site offers a 60-day free trial.