Microsoft released the latest version of Windows this week. The company promises that Windows 7 will be the best version of its operating system yet, and hopes that the release will go much further than its predecessor, Windows Vista. We can only hope so, since Vista was such a poor example of what could be done.
Whether Windows 7 does go down as one of Microsoft's best remains to be seen, which is why you won't see it on this list. While some of us have high hopes for the operating system, the old rule that you never buy version one of any Microsoft code holds true. We have yet to see what pitfalls occur, and they will only become apparent once widespread adoption kicks in.
But in the meantime we've decided to count down the 10 best products ever to come out of Redmond. This was a very tough list to come up with, since neither Shaun nor I are Microsoft's biggest fans, but we think this gives a good example of some of the best that Microsoft has to offer.
Shaun Nichols: OneNote only made 'honourable mention' because it is largely a niche product, but if you're a student, journalist or just a tablet PC user, OneNote can be a valuable tool. Far more than just a word processor, OneNote is an application explicitly designed for note-taking.
Most importantly, OneNote allows users to link text notes with recorded audio. Users can click on a specific line of text or a note and hear audio of what was being said while that note was typed.
For me, OneNote changes the way I approach an interview or keynote address, replacing endless typing with simple notes to sound clips, allowing me to pay much closer attention to what's actually being said rather than making sure I got that last quote right.
Iain Thomson: OK, we're perhaps a bit biased on this one. OneNote is such a great tool for journalists that we almost suspect Microsoft developed it just to get good press.
Nevertheless, it's a stunningly useful application for anyone who needs to take notes in a meeting. If you sit through presentations and need an accurate record of what went on, OneNote is your application. It makes the whole process much more effective and allows you to keep an accurate record of what went on.
This is useful more than one reason. The next time management asks 'Which idiot decided to do this?' you have a ready-made record proving it wasn't you.
mention: Flight Simulator
Iain Thomson: It's going to date me but the Flight Simulator program was probably the first game I played on an IBM PC back in the 1980s.
Microsoft apparently started selling the game because Bill Gates was fascinated with flight simulators. Since he has yet to get a private pilot's licence I have my doubts, but there's no denying that this has to be Microsoft's longest running game program, since it predates Windows.
Now, as it's sold by Microsoft you'd expect the game to be pretty awful but in fact it was very, very good for its time. There were a few bugs - some of them very enjoyable. You could choose the Lear jet and take it up to maximum ceiling before switching to a biplane and power-diving down to its maximum altitude in a way that would rip the wings off an actual plane.
However, the simulator also attracted some seriously geeky fans. I know of people who actually make flights in real time, travelling from London to Barcelona, for example, without fast forwarding through the boring flying through France business. One former journalist, who shall remain nameless, even bought a pilot's cap to wear while he was playing. Sad? Yes, but you can't deny the power of the program.
Shaun Nichols: The devoted followers of games such as Halo and Call of Duty are well known, and here in the US the Madden NFL franchise is so popular it was given its own TV show, but flight simulators is a huge niche that doesn't often get noticed.
Perhaps it's because flight simulator addicts aren't the grungy university students or twitchy gamer types that you see with other games; they are quiet, reserved types and quite often white-collar professionals.
That doesn't mean they aren't very, very into their game of choice. The hardcore types not only spend long hours with force-feedback joysticks, many opt to go even further and set up multiple monitors, driving wheels and even foot pedals to more accurately recreate the act of taking off into the wild blue yonder.
We can't all be Richard Branson or Sergey Brin, and most of us will never be able to get behind the wheel of a private jet, so Flight Simulator is not too bad for the next best thing.
Some parts of Atacama have not received rainfall for 500 years - but a sudden deluge of water upset the Desert's delicate biological balance
Spitzer Space Telescope could not spot Oumuamua, suggesting that it is actually pretty small
Greenland crater one of the 25 largest impact craters on Earth
This long-sought progenitor star was identified in an image captured by Hubble in 2007