The Software Patch
Unlike the free utility Software Inspector (which I also plan to do a review of soon), these various patches are here for the taking, but you don't have to feel obligated to download them. Just pick and choose. Although there is an abundant and constantly-updated list of the latest patches and updates on the SofwarePatch home page, there is much more on the left side panel. Click on Windows, for example, and you will find an Internet Explorer software archive, its service packs and even the most recent beta release of the upcoming IE 8. All current "essential" Vista updates are collected here, as well as all things Windows Media Player-related, Outlook Express and the new Windows Mail, as well as the aforementioned exhaustive collection of XP updates and service packs.
The way that I was first introduced to The Software Patch was back when I was testing out Windows Defender and wanted to download the utility without having to go through the long, drawn-out Windows XP Validation process, which is required for you to use any updated post-Service Pack 2 software, such as Windows Defender, Internet Explorer 7, Windows Media Player 11, etc. Well, The Software Patch will allow you to download these apps without having to validate your copy of Windows. Imagine that. It's a well-kept secret...until now. Before moving on to other blog posts, do yourself a favor and browse The Software Patch's left-hand links. Read some of the Tips, and grab a few of the Adobe updates in the Graphics section. This is a site that provides a much-needed public service, and does it well.