Hot on HuffPost Tech:

See More Stories
Free Switched iPhone app - try it now!
AOL Tech

Windows Steady State Bulletproofs Your System

Windows StreadyState
So you're thinking, "Hey, I want to be totally irresponsible with my computer and load it up with crapware!" Really, isn't everyone getting tired of having to be so stinking responsible on the Internet all the time? We certainly are. We're ready for system protection that isn't afraid of our reckless browsing, indiscriminate downloading, and general apathy towards good computer usage habits.

...Which is why we love Windows Steady State. It creates a cache file in which your operating system operates, meaning any harmful changes can be undone by simply emptying the cache. After downloading it's a snap to install - just a few obligatory clicks and the usual EULA mumbo-jubmo and you're set.

Our first test was pretty a pretty low-intensity workout. We surfed, bookmarked, set up a POP account and downloaded a few messages, and cluttered up the desktop with a dozen or so hilariously named folders. After issuing the old Windows - U - R we waited anxiously for the system to reboot.

There it was, just as it had been before - no trace of any of our activity. The desktop was still tidy, no favorites or emails were anywhere to be seen. So far so good, but let's try some real abuse!
Do your worst! Fire up Internet Explorer and go on a malicious web-surfing bender. Download rogue applications! Install 16 browser toolbars! Download obviously fake songs with Limwire! When you're spent, reboot and check the results. To the dismay of Trojans everywhere, not a shred of your misdeeds will remain.

Windows Steady State image 2
When you factor in the other features Steady State offers - restricting program, Internet, and Windows feature access, the ability to hide drives, scheduled cache cleaning - it's easy to see why similar programs like DeepFreeze go for big bucks. And yet Microsoft gives it away for free!

Hey, who are we to argue? Anyone who's got a toddler (or perhaps a spiteful co-worker?) that loves to click first and ask questions later better give this app a permanent home on their computer.

Learn more about it on the Microsoft Shared Access Computing mini-site.

Tags: freeware, privacy, security, software, virtualization, vista, windows, winxp, xp