If you've ever tried to open an unfamiliar file or program in Windows, you've seen the Open With dialog, which lets you open it from a list of available programs or browse to the appropriate application. OpenWith Enhanced replaces the built-in Windows feature with an enhanced dialog that not only lists installed programs but offers recommendations based on other users' experiences with similar files. OpenWith Enhanced downloads the latest metadata from an online database. It not only suggests appropriate programs on your system but also uninstalled ones that can do the job, with download links and even purchase information, for programs that aren't free. OpenWith Enhanced is freeware.
It's true that many common things become scarce when you look for them, and unassociated files and programs are good examples. But we'd recently downloaded a file that seemed a likely candidate. We right-clicked this file and selected Open With on the context menu, and were rewarded with the OpenWith Enhanced interface, which is basically the same as the Windows dialog but with uninstalled programs shown in red in the Recommended Programs field. Hovering the cursor over any of these entries produced information about the program as well as its popularity among users for the given task. The program functions like the Windows tool in every other way, including the Browse button and the check box to choose to always use a program, but that's not the end of it. We could configure the background color of highlighted programs, for instance. We could open the program's Web site for more information about finding the right app for the right job, access enhanced help online, and remove and manage associations. OpenWith Enhanced file association tool includes an interesting extra, the ability to disable file associations for certain users instead of all users. The Settings includes the ability to opt out of transmitting any usage data, and no personal data is transmitted.
Windows does a lot, but there's always room for improvement. We're fans of free tools that enhance existing capabilities with useful improvements. OpenWith Enhanced fits the description.