Featured Freeware: System Explorer

This system activity monitor brings a tabbed interface and links to other Windows system tools to the process-monitoring game.

This robust freeware displays system activity with more detail than many expensive programs. System Explorer's tight multitabbed interface logically arranges and displays more information than most experienced users would need. The program could use a Help manual, but at least there's expert user knowledge online.

Operating System Explorer is primarily a point-and-click affair. The application loads all the information it collects when you start it. Fourteen tabs logically spread the information into manageable portions. With a click, users can monitor tasks, processes, performance, history, windows, connections, and opened files. Each tab includes detailed information about the items included. Many details listed are easily investigated with right-click access to find information online at Web sites such as Google and ProcessLibrary. Such investigation is limited by the depth of information available at the Web sites.

In addition to the monitoring tools, System Explorer offers single-click access to numerous Windows tools. Disk defragmenter, computer, group policy, services, and task management aren't part of the application, but are made much easier to reach.