Microsoft makes a whole lot of money selling software. But it also gives a lot of it away for free.

Here's a collection of useful free Microsoft apps for all sorts of devices — not just Windows PCs, but also Macs, iPhones, and even Android devices.

These apps will help you take photos, share them, give you access to your documents, notes, organize your travel and more.

Photosynth lets you create 3D photographs

Photosynth is a tool that lets you create a 3D photograph, known as a synth, which is a collection of overlapped photos. This is available for Windows Phone and iOS, or can be used on the Web. The 3D view allows you to navigate photos in all sorts of ways, whether its a tour of your home or climbing a mountain.

ICE (Image Composite Editor) creates panoramic images

ICE (Image Composite Editor) works with Photosynth to create panoramic images. The panorama can be shared with friends and viewed in 3D by uploading it to the Photosynth web site. Or it can be saved a wide variety of image formats, from common formats like JPEG and TIFF to the multi-resolution tiled format used by Silverlight's Deep Zoom and by the HD View and HD View SL panorama viewers.

Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red by INicR on Photosynth

Xim is a photo-sharing app for mobile

Microsoft Xim lets you share up to 50 photos with friends via your Windows Phone, iOS, or Android device.

Photos appear synchronously on everyone’s devices even if they don’t have the app. Anyone in "a Xim" can advance the slide show or pan and zoom to see specific photo details.

Skype Qik is sort of like Snapchat.

Skype Qik is a free Snapchat-like app. But it's not limited to snaps. You can also send video clips, and they don't vanish right away.

New messages can be added to a chat that you can watch like a movie with a single tap. Qik also lets you erase your video right out of the chat. It's free for Windows Phone, iOS, and Android.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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