windows

Windows 8.1 update said to arrive when XP ends

April 8 is the day support for XP ends. Though it may be cold comfort for XP users, it may also be the day that Microsoft updates Windows 8.1.

Early April is shaping up to be a watershed of sorts for Windows users. At the same time that support for Windows XP is ending, the Windows 8.1 update is arriving to the general public, according to Neowin, citing a tweet from Supersite for Windows.

That date was also suggested earlier this month.

And April 8 is also the day for Microsoft's "Patch Tuesday," when it … Read more

ShiftWindow review

ShiftWindow lets you adjust the window size and location for various programs to help you keep your desktop organized and efficient. Create rules for programs you use often, and then assign hot keys to trigger specific window configurations, so you can always see what you want to on your desktop.

The interface of this program is not very intuitive, and the Help file doesn't include much useful information. It's really just tips that display across the bottom of the window and describe the various features of the interface as you roll your mouse over them. However, there aren'… Read more

Windows Shortcut Arrow Editor review

Windows Shortcut Arrow Editor lets you customize the appearance of the shortcut arrow on your desktop interface in various ways. You can use one of the standard variations, or you can browse the program's preloaded image options to find one that suits your style.

The interface of this app is exceptionally streamlined, with a main window offering options for what you want your arrow to look like. These include the Windows default, the classic arrow, no arrow, or a custom design. Selecting the Custom setting takes you to another window where you can scroll through or browse the dozens … Read more

TaxACT 2013 Deluxe Edition review

TaxACT 2013 Deluxe Edition is 2nd Story Software's best value if you've previously filed your federal income tax returns with TaxACT. It has everything in TaxACT's free service, including free federal filing, guaranteed accuracy, and assistance if you're audited, plus state tax filing for a small fee. The Deluxe edition includes extra tax calculators, expert advice, free phone support, and more. You can download TaxACT Deluxe as standalone software, but we tried the Webware version, which integrates with your secure TaxACT account. Like TaxACT's other products and similar services, you can try TaxACT Deluxe for … Read more

TaxACT 2013 Free Federal Edition review

TaxACT 2013 Free Federal Edition not only supports 2013 federal 1040EZ and other basic returns but also any IRS electronic filing form. Free services and tools like the Dependent and FAFSA Assistants help you find all eligible deductions. Expert help is available, too, including support if you're audited, and returns are guaranteed 100 percent accurate. TaxACT promises to find you the maximum return, if you've got one coming. You can do your state taxes at the same time for a small fee, too.

We like that you can not only try TaxACT for free, but also without registering. … Read more

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