A Windows Alarm Clock is Not Included in the Software
A Windows Alarm Clock for Windows Vista and Windows 7 is not included, but they do offer gadgets that can be placed around the desktop including an attractive clock that can represent any time zone.
However, the clock lacks any alarm features highlighting the need for a 3rd party Windows alarm clock application instead. There are a variety of commercial and free solutions that offer a bundle of nice alarming features that can quickly outperform any portable device that boasts alarm clock features.
Alarm Clock Pro
Representing the commercial lineup, Alarm Clock Pro offers lots of customizable features making it the only alarm clock that you need to install. Many alarm types are supported including alarms to sound at specific dates, date intervals, certain days of the week, minutes after the hour, and the standard timers for accurate alarms. It is also possible to set exclusions for certain calendar days.
Once the alarm conditions are met, a sound can be played like any other alarm clock software, but Alarm Clock Pro does a lot more offering dozens of events that can be triggered such as the launching of an application, system operation, toggle screensaver, take screenshot, and even some Internet features such as the opening of a web address. In addition, alarms can be snoozed or extended.
Multiple alarms can be set and easily managed using the interface which also provides access to other small tools including a time calculator and stopwatch. On-screen clocks can also be placed that work similarly to gadgets.
DShutdown is a good freeware choice when simplicity and portability are the needs. It is very lightweight weighing less than a single MB and focuses primarily on system operations that can be performed on the PC the program is running from or any other computers that are networked to the system. Many other actions are allowed including a sound file to be played or a log file to be appended. A small timer is also included and sports some useful triggers including a trigger that activates the alarm when Internet activity slows down to a user-defined value. Although there are no scheduling or snoozing options available, DShutdown is an excellent portable freeware.
Alarm Clock of Justice
Alarm Clock of Justice fills in the missing features of DShutdown by adding both snoozing and scheduling features and it happens to be freeware as well. Despite its cluttered interface, it offers more features along with a nice feature that can automatically turn up the volume when the alarm triggers so the volume is only maxed when the alarm plays as long as the sound card supports it. Visual alarms can also be displayed or programs can be launched following a schedule. The only drawback is the lack of support for multiple instances which DShutdown enjoys. However, profiles can be configured for easy setting of alarm presets.
Since Windows Alarm Clock does not exist, it is best to try out the freeware solutions as they cover all of the necessary basic features. Commercial software like Alarm Clock Pro cover them as well while adding a slew of nice cosmetic features and more events to make it function more like an automation tool. A trial is available so the alarm features can be tested.
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