windows

Windows 8.1 Metro: Start or stop?

The Metro screen certainly has had its detractors. Is Microsoft now one of them?

The touch-friendly tiled start screen, aka Metro, that greets everyone in Windows 8.1 may be in danger of being demoted, if reports are to be believed this week.

One report claimed that Microsoft is testing a scenario where the OS boots to the desktop by default (not as an option), bypassing the touch-centric Metro screen.

Of course, it's merely a rumor at this point because no one really knows if Microsoft will in fact implement this when the Windows 8.1 Update 1 is … Read more

Windows 8.1 update may default to desktop on startup

(Update: ZDNet is calling the report into question, saying, "if Microsoft did make skipping the Metro Start screen a default option, the company would give developers even less of a reason to write Windows Store/Metro Style apps.")

The expected update for Windows 8.1 could bypass the touch-centric tiled start screen and jump directly to Windows desktop, according to a fresh report.

The latest build for the Windows 8.1 update indicates that devices will boot to the desktop UI by default, according to Wzor.net, which has been leaking screenshots over the past several weeks.

This … Read more

After delay, Beats Music lands on Windows Phone

A Beats Music app quietly popped up Thursday in the Windows Phone app store, roughly one week after the new streaming service made its debut. Beats Music competes with Spotify and Rdio and first launched for Android and iOS on January 21.

The app is free, but to actually listen to music, you need to pony up $10 per month. Unlike other music-streaming services, there's no free limited or ad-supported option. Beats Music for Windows Phone looks nearly identical to the other apps, and appears to come with all of the same features.

While you can download the app … Read more

Review: Window on Top Portable keeps the window you select on top of all others

Window on Top Portable ensures you never lose the window you're working in beneath a pile of other windows by keeping it on top at all times. There are many reasons you might want to keep one window on top of others and visible while you're working, and this app makes that possible. This is one more tool to help you configure your working space just the way you want it to help you maximize efficiency.

This app has a very minimalistic interface with clear instructions for its use. When you open it, you'll see a small … Read more

Bing Rewards make their way to iOS and Android

Microsoft on Wednesday announced you can now use its free service which rewards you for searching with Bing, called Bing Rewards, on iOS and Android. Unfortunately, those with Windows Phones will have to wait, as the company its still working on bringing this feature to its own mobile operating system.

It's worth noting this not an app you can download in the App Store or Google Play, but instead a specially designed mobile site that tracks your search behavior so that you can earn rewards.

With Bing Rewards you earn points which you can redeem for gift cards from … Read more

Get complete malware protection with Emsisoft

Malware is annoying and can come when you least expect it. With 20 million plus malware programs out there, ranging from intrusive ads to truly malicious software, it's now more important than ever to stay protected online. That's why this week's special deal can help keep your computer safe. For the next three days, you can get the award-winning scanner, Emsisoft Anti-Malware, for 40 percent off the regular price of a one-year license.

By combining its own in-house engine as well as utilizing Bitdefender antivirus' scanner, Emsisoft Anti-Malware has repeatedly garnered favorable reviews from independent "real-world&… Read more

Disable Chrome's Windows 8 mode

"Chrome for Windows 8, we need to talk. Listen, I like you. I think you're a great browser. In fact, you're my default browser. The thing is, I want to be able to see other windows."

I've been meaning to have that conversation with Chrome for Windows 8 for weeks now. Chrome's default setting in Windows 8 is to open as a Metro-style app if you have it set as your default browser, which takes you away from the desktop and into a Chrome-only environment. While the animation that moves you in and out … Read more

Dell, Toshiba, Lenovo tablets dip below $250 at Microsoft Store

Microsoft is pushing select Windows 8.1 tablets below $250 at its online and physical stores.

For example, the 32GB Dell Venue 8 Pro is now priced at $229, dropping $70 from $299.

The 32GB Lenovo Miix 2 and Toshiba Encore are also $249 now, down from $299.

As a yardstick for comparable Android tablets, Dell's Venue 8, which runs Android 4.2.2 on an older Z2580 Intel Atom processor, sells for $179.99 directly from Dell. And Toshiba markets the Android-based Toshiba Excite 7 for $149.99.

Other Windows 8.1 models have been cut too. The … Read more

Chrome extension turns YouTube into your own personal radio station

There is no shortage of Internet radio services. From freeware like Pandora and Rdio to premium services like Spotify and Google Music, you can listen to all the songs you want, when you want them. Streamus allows you to search for songs by tapping into the world's largest music database, YouTube.

Just download and install the extension and start listening to your favorite tune. You can search directly from the Omnibox (the address/search bar) by typing in "Streamus" and hitting Tab, or you can search within the extension and create your own playlist.

You can get … Read more

Windows Phone grabs a ride with Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, one of the most popular titles in the franchise series, has made its way to Windows Phone just a month after it arrived on Android and iOS.

Rockstar Games launched GTA: San Andreas to Windows Phone on Monday for $7. The game follows the same storyline as the console versions that launched years ago. In addition to downloading the game, players will also need to download an additional 2.5GB to get the full title onto their devices.

For now, GTA: San Andreas is available on just a handful of Windows Phone devices, including the … Read more