windows

Windows tablets, your time may be at hand

The tablet market is shifting into a more mature phase, and that figures to be a good thing for Microsoft.

Market researcher IDC on Thursday forecast a dramatic slowdown in the expansion of the worldwide market for tablets, with the growth rate simmering at 19.4 percent in 2014, down from a sizzling growth rate of 51.6 percent last year. The firm defines that market as including both slate-style tablets and 2-in-1 devices.

As the tablet market cools down, IDC said, sales to businesses will help lift the profile of Microsoft's Windows operating system, which has been in the shadow of Apple's iOS and Google's AndroidRead more

Security lessons from RSA

The RSA Conference, the flagship meetup for cryptography, information security, and IT experts from around the world, just wrapped on February 28. While RSA is largely for IT professionals and businesses rather than consumers, I learned a couple of new lessons about personal protection in the age of big data. Read on for lessons learned and tips for taking control of your online security and digital privacy.

1. Beware of hackers and protect your passwords

Hackers are no more evil than the average netizens, nor are they loners: They build social communities around their illicit activities. Whether they're cyber-criminals … Read more

Facebook Messenger lands on Windows Phone

Windows Phone users can now download Facebook Messenger.

Already available for iOS and Android devices, the social network's dedicated chat app is now nestled in the Windows Phone Store.

A spinoff of the full Facebook mobile app, Facebook Messenger lets you chat with one or more of your friends, share your location, and perk up your chats with pictures and stickers.

The launch doesn't come as a surprise. At last week's Mobile World Congress, Microsoft announced that Facebook Messenger would soon land on Windows Phone.

"Facebook Messenger is probably one of the most requested individual apps … Read more

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