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Trusted open-source apps for Windows

Open-source apps must maintain accountability when it comes to security. They have an active community of developers and users who help discover vulnerabilities, peer-review code, and perform routine audits on a mass scale. Security holes are patched at a rate that discourages programmers from placing back-door malicious codes. Though not every open-source app is secure, the ones that are benefit from the community in a way that closed-source programs and applications can rarely duplicate.

Many of the apps listed here have been so widely distributed and scrutinized that even RSA Conference attendees trust and recommend them.

Gpg4Win

Gpg4Win is a … Read more

Spring clean with Revo Uninstaller Pro

If you're an app aficionado, you've heard of Revo Uninstaller. It has been praised as one of the best uninstaller programs for PCs and runs circles around the default Windows uninstaller. Thanks to the folks at Revo, you can now get this essential toolkit for only $15.70 -- 60 percent off the regular price of $39.25.

A combination uninstaller and Registry cleaner, Revo Uninstaller Pro is one of the first program that new computer owners should install. This premier software allows you to remove installed applications quickly, while efficiently cleaning up leftover files and Registry keys, … Read more

Windows Phone to be fastest growing mobile OS, says IDC

Windows Phone could be the only major mobile OS to see a gain in market share in the next few years.

Released Wednesday, IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker forecasts a rise in Windows Phone's global market share from 3.9 percent this year to 7 percent in 2018. That may not seem like a huge leap, but such growth will outshine the market share declines predicted for the other major mobile platforms.

Although it will still dominate the smartphone landscape, Android will see its global market share drop from 78.9 percent this year to 76 percent … Read more

Microsoft sends out mixed messages about Nokia Lumia brand

BARCELONA, Spain -- Lumia lives! Microsoft will continue the Nokia and Lumia brands when it takes over Nokia's phone business, although the company is sending out mixed messages on the details of the transition.

I chatted about the future of Nokia today with Greg Sullivan, Director of Windows Phone, at industry shindig Mobile World Congress. He confirmed that Lumia as a brand would continue under Microsoft, but refused to confirm whether the Nokia name would survive on phones too. But a Microsoft spokesperson has since told me that the handset division of Nokia will continue to make phones … Read more

No Nirvana? Is Asus rethinking Android-Windows 8.1 device?

Is a dual Android-Windows device just a pipe dream? And are these devices doomed in general?

We don't have an answer to that yet, but there are signs that not everything is copacetic.

A report last week from Asia claimed that Asus may be "forced" to give up the Transformer Book Duet TD300, a novel laptop-tablet hybrid that can instantly switch between Android and Windows 8.1.

And an industry source familiar with the Duet told CNET that there has been sparring with operating system partners, echoing the reports from Asia. However, the CNET source did not … Read more

'The map comes alive': Nokia Here boss dreams of drones, self-driving cars

BARCELONA, Spain -- "Mapping 1.0 is done," says the head of Nokia Here. He envisions a world of constantly-updating, infinitesimally precise maps guiding us on through the world on our smartwatches and smartphones, as self-driving cars zoom past and delivery drones soar overhead.

"First we had paper maps with lots of colourful lines," says Christof Hellmis, head of map platforms at Nokia Here, "but now the world is moving to the next generation of maps, which will be 3D, and will include Augmented Reality, like our CityLens app."

I met with Hellmis at … Read more

Free utility finds unwanted programs uninstallers miss

Software happens...sometimes more often than we intend.

Distributors of free apps are adept at getting us downloaders to agree to including special offers along with the programs we mean to install. Often the option to add the extra software is preselected, so we have to uncheck a box to prevent the unsolicited programs from hitching a ride.

Potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) can be a challenge to uninstall. I recently found myself with some PUPs that eluded the Windows 8.1 uninstaller as well as two popular utilities: Piriform's CCleaner and Revo Uninstaller. Fortunately, the system inventory created by … Read more

BBM to land on Windows Phone this summer

BlackBerry Messenger will expand its reach in the coming months.

In a blog posted Monday, BBM product and marketing chief Jeff Gadway revealed that the Messenger app will debut for Windows Phone users sometime this summer. The app will also travel to the newly-announced Android-powered Nokia X platform, though Gadway didn't reveal an ETA for that rollout.

BBM already supports BlackBerry OS, iOS, and Android. Users had been asking BlackBerry to extend BBM to other mobile systems, such as Windows Phone, Gadway added.

"BBM continues to grow in popularity as millions of people use our mobile platform for … Read more

Nokia's Elop on selling an Android phone that's not an Android phone

BARCELONA, Spain -- Nokia will have to walk a fine line when it comes to selling its recently unveiled Nokia X family of smartphones.

While Nokia X and its brethren will run on Android, they are far from Android phones. That could lead to customer confusion as the company has largely focused on Microsoft's Windows Phone operating for its primary line of smartphones, and its older Symbian operating system for its Asha line of starter smartphones.

"We're going to have to be deliberate," said Stephen Elop, head of devices for Nokia, in an interview with CNET … Read more

Why the Android-powered Nokia X is great for Microsoft

BARCELONA, Spain -- You would think that Nokia's first Android smartphone would make for the start of a tense relationship with soon-to-be parent Microsoft.

Well, you'd be wrong.

The Nokia X, alongside its brothers the Nokia X+ and the larger Nokia XL, may turn out to be a boon to both companies. The Android phones can be held up as a symbol of Microsoft's continued neutrality, even in the face of the pending acquisition of Nokia's devices business. Nokia, meanwhile, gets an even more competitive budget phone that it can serve up to emerging markets, an … Read more