windows

Watch Cortana, Microsoft's rival to Siri and Google Now

One of the main new features of Windows Phone 8.1 -- the personal digital assistant code-named "Cortana" -- has made a brief, unofficial video debut.

The UnleashThePhones.com site posted a 2-plus-minute video clip to YouTube showing what seems to be Cortana in action. Though the "speaking voice" of Cortana isn't revealed, a few new tidbits are.… Read more

Tablet Tuesday: Get an 8-inch Windows 8.1 tablet for $199.99

I've been traveling a fair bit lately, both for business and pleasure, and on every trip I've packed a 7-inch Kindle Fire tablet and a 13.3-inch Samsung laptop -- the latter for work, the former for media consumption (movies, books, etc.).

But today's deal has me wondering: Could a single device take the place of those two?

For a limited time and while supplies last, Best Buy has the Lenovo Miix 2 (32GB) tablet for $199.99, shipped (plus sales tax). This 8-inch tablet runs Windows 8.1 and comes with Microsoft Office Home & Student. … Read more

Windows 8.1 update reportedly hits final stage

The "spring" update to Windows 8.1 is purportedly now in the hands of PC and tablet makers.

Microsoft has signed off on the update and moved it into the RTM (release-to-manufacturing) stage, The Verge said on Tuesday, citing "sources familiar with Microsoft's plans." A similar tidbit was served by Russian leaker Wzor, who tweeted that the Windows 8.1 spring update was signed off by Microsoft on February 26 and is now final.

The update has begun to reach device makers to test and install on their products, The Verge added. Windows 8.1 … Read more

Opera for Mac review

With its long history, Opera for Mac stands as one of the most popular Web browsers in the world. Despite its age, this free product has been constantly updated and optimized to run smoothly and keep feature parity with the rest of the competition. What set the app apart from other browsers are the handy mouse gestures, the Off Road mode that uses less traffic, and the handy news aggregator.

When opened, Opera for Mac presents you with its Speed Dial interface where you can pin your most used sites, set the number of columns, and group sites in folders. … Read more

Apple CarPlay ready for the road ahead

CNET Update lets Siri take the wheel:

In this episode of Update:

- Get a glimpse of how Apple CarPlay will work in upcoming vehicles. It only will work when an iPhone 5, 5C or 5S is plugged into the car. The first manufacturers to offer the capability include Ferrari, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo.

- Score $500 worth of free apps and subscription services when you buy the new Samsung Galaxy S5, arriving April 11.

- If you still use Windows XP, don't be surprised to see pop-ups from Microsoft nagging you to upgrade starting this Saturday. … Read more

Uninstall native Windows 8 apps you don't need

Think of those poor, lonely apps pre-installed on Windows 8 PCs that are destined to remain unopened: Travel, Reminders, Maps, Camera, Notes...Reading List?

These are only a few of the many programs preloaded on my Windows 8 PC that I have never opened and am unlikely to use in the future. Windows 8's Start screen is jam-packed with shortcuts to orphan apps such as these. If you'd rather not live with an overcrowded Start screen, you can remove the unused programs -- or at least unpin them from the screen -- with just a few clicks.

Unclutter … Read more

Windows XP starts countdown to end-of-support on April 8

Microsoft will begin notifying Windows XP users -- starting Saturday -- via pop-up notification that April 8 will mark the end of Microsoft support for Windows XP.

Windows XP users still running the Home or Professional versions of the product and who have been getting their updates to XP via Windows Update will get a notification on their desktop screen reminding them of the April 8 end-of-support date. Users can turn off the notifications via a check box. If they don't, they will be reminded on the 8th of every month until the notifications are disabled. The notification also … Read more

Windows XP won't die without a fight

Microsoft continues to urge people to dump Windows XP as it preps to end support for the operating system next month, but the 13-year-old OS refuses to go away quietly.

XP's cut among desktop operating systems actually rose slightly the past two months, according to the latest Web traffic numbers from market tracker Net Applications. In February, XP's share inched up to 29.5 percent from 29.3 percent in January and 28.9 percent in December.

Of course, those are minor increases, a possible blip in XP's long-term decline. Just two years ago, XP was still … Read more

Microsoft's latest stab at Apple: Macs are no good for weddings

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to discuss the fact that Apple has no feelings.

Anyone with a heart knows that if you're going to plan a wedding, you have to be able to poke and stroke your laptop screen. Otherwise, it's bad karma.

That is my initial reading of Microsoft's latest ad aimed at belittling Apple.

There have been a few lately. Everything from telling you you'll fail at college if you use an iPad to sending a decaying apple to iPhone users.

Here we have a lovely, soon-to-be-lovelier woman planning her wedding.

"… Read more

Android and Windows getting along inside your PC? Nope

commentary Waiting for a crush of devices running both Windows 8.1 and Android? Don't.

CNET learned this week that the Asus Transformer Book Duet TD300 -- the most recent high-profile attempt to try to pull off this duality -- has not gotten a warm reception from at least one of the operating system suppliers on the hybrid tablet-laptop.

That's the political problem. "Neither [Microsoft nor Google] can be very happy about it," said Nathan Brookwood, principal analyst at Insight 64, alluding to the fact that it's a shotgun wedding of the two rivals' software, … Read more