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10 must-see videos of the week

As the Sochi Winter Olympics officially kick off this week, we're checking out some of the same technology Olympic organizers are relying on to generate snow at a resort in Lake Tahoe. These automated snowmaking systems (some of which can even be operated from a mobile phone) are making it easier and more efficient to make snow when Mother Nature doesn't want to cooperate.

Prizefight is also back at it with an epic rematch between the Roku 3 and third-generation Apple TV. It's been a year since their previous duel and both Editors' Choice streaming boxes have … Read more

Microsoft sends decaying apple to Apple users

I opened my eyes a touch reluctantly this morning and began to read my e-mails in bed.

It was raining outside and the fog was thicker than "War And Peace."

Microsoft, however, wanted to cheer me up. It sent me an e-mail with the subject line: "You deserve something better."

"How sweet," I thought. "I'm not sure I actually deserve something better, but, you know, if you're offering, why would I not listen?"

I eagerly opened the e-mail and then recoiled a touch. For there was a picture of a … Read more

What gaming drought? 7 great games you should be playing right now

I've been hearing it since the new year: "There are no games to play!"

Sure, we seem to have found ourselves in a bit of a lull when it comes to the big blockbuster video game. When I posted what I felt were 2014's most anticipated titles, I may have overlooked the fact that the beginning of 2014 was a bit on the light side for games.

Wrought with guilt that I may have in someway performed a disservice to you fine people, I felt compelled to compile a short list of interactive software worthy of your hard-earned income. The best part? Most of these titles are significantly cheaper than the $60 you're probably used to paying for a shiny new game.… Read more

Will Nadella appointment weigh on debate over tech visas?

In his first e-mail to Microsoft employees in his newly-minted role as chief executive, Satya Nadella included a brief but important section titled, "Who am I?"

Over the last week especially, the world came to know a lot more about the executive, after the news was leaked that Nadella was the expected choice for the company's top job. But still, a dark horse he was, beating out splashier choices like former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop and Ford CEO Alan Mulally. So we've still got a lot to learn about the new leader in Redmond.

His answer … Read more

Xbox One gets updates for Kinect, storage

CNET Update dreams of dual cameras:

In this episode of Update:

- Look for a software update to the Xbox One next week. It adds features for battery alerts, storage and Kinect voice controls.

- With Microsoft's latest investment, expect Windows Phone and Bing to include data from Foursquare.

- Get caught up on all the Samsung Galaxy S5 rumors, including the report that the screen can read fingerprints.

- Learn what dual-camera madness HTC may have in store for its next phone.

- Get paid for putting ads on your Android lock screen with Slidejoy.

CNET Update delivers … Read more

Windows 8.1 update may be delayed until April

I've heard from two of my sources in the past week that Microsoft's ship target for Windows 8.1 Update 1 has shifted from March 2014 to April 2014.

The idea remains to use Patch Tuesday to distribute the coming so-called "Spring" update via Windows Update, my sources said. If that is the case, Windows 8.1 Update 1 should be pushed to users on April 8, rather than March 11.

Windows 8.1 Update 1 is a collection of features and fixes for Windows 8.1. Most of the new features are aimed at making … Read more

A closer look at the Microsoft insiders who didn't get the job

Now that it's official that Satya Nadella is Microsoft's next CEO, it's time to ponder what happens with some of the other leading company insiders who didn't get the nod.

As part of the search process, the Microsoft CEO search committee considered not only more than a few outsiders, but also a number of internal candidates as possible replacements for now ex-CEO Steve Ballmer. From conversations I've had with various contacts, I think the committee gave at least passing consideration to most of the members of Microsoft's senior leadership team.

That means all the … Read more

Xbox One updates to improve Kinect, multiplayer features

Xbox One users can expect two major updates to hit their consoles over the coming weeks.

Revealed by Xbox Corporate Vice President Marc Whitten in a blog on Wednesday, the first update will launch on February 11 with several fixes and features. Whitten promises improvements to the Kinect's voice recognition so it can better respond to your commands. Unspecified stability and product updates are also part of the package, as are behind-the-scenes enhancements for developers.

More specifically, Xbox One users will be able to view and manage their storage space, choose the order in which certain content loads, and … Read more

Eight things CEO Nadella needs to do to jump-start Microsoft

For Microsoft, new CEO Satya Nadella represents the first opportunity for a fresh start in nearly a decade and a half.

It's hard to knock a company that last quarter generated $24.5 billion in revenue, but Nadella takes the reins at a time when there are increasing questions about Microsoft's direction and future source of growth.

Let's face it: Microsoft has been in a rut. The reception to Windows 8 has been lukewarm at best and has failed to reinvigorate PC sales at a time when consumers are keener to spend their limited dollars on phones … Read more

Developers: Nadella speaks our language

The white smoke has risen from Redmond, and with the ascension of new Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on Tuesday, so rise the hopes of the developer community that it depends on.

Nadella brings to the commander's chair a reputation for building community and fostering good third-party relations. While he didn't address developers directly in his first public comments as CEO, he did indicate that Microsoft was prepared to change.

As my CNET colleague Charles Cooper noted from those comments, Nadella envisions a "people-centric IT" that focuses on products and services where "the end-user gets the … Read more