Few years ago, CamStudio and Wink were the only tools for Windows that could record a movie of your onscreen activity for free. Then came Jing from TechSmith followed by a wave of web based screencasting applications that allowed users to create screencasts on the desktop without installing any software.

The reason why companies are giving away their screencasting software for free is simple – the free version has all the basic features but a portion of these users are probably looking for advanced capabilities like additional export options, video editing, etc. and they’ll upgrade to the paid version.

TechSmith started this trend with Jing and now UK based BlueBerry software is also trying to follow the same path. They have just released BB FlashBack Express, a screencasting tool that was earlier selling for $40, as a free software with no string attached.

publish screencasts to youtubeBB Flashback can record any portion of the screen (full desktop, a window, or a region) and you can even review your recording frame-by-frame with the VCR-like movie player. Other than microphone audio, you may also incorporate webcam video into your screencast with BB Flashback.

The software installs a separate capture driver for Windows Vista that can record the Aero effects of Vista at a high frame rate even on a regular PC. The final screencast video can be exported in either Windows Media, SWF or Flash Video format.

You can also upload these screencasts to YouTube, Blip.tv and other web video sites from the program itself. BB FlashBack Express can be downloaded for free at bbsoftware.co.uk.

Related: Compare Camtasia with BB Flashback