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Nokia at MWC 2014: Join us Monday (live blog)

BARCELONA, Spain -- Will Nokia finally go Android?

On the first official day of Mobile World Congress, Nokia is widely expected to unveil an Android-powered smartphone -- a departure from its previous decision to solely stick with Microsoft's Windows Phone platform. The company will likely unveil a few Windows Phone devices as well, but an Android phone would certainly capture all of the headlines.

CNET senior editor Jessica Dolcourt, photographer Sarah Tew, and I will be bringing you all the details, photos, and commentary from the event. The event kicks off at 8:30 a.m. Monday local Barcelona … Read more

Nokia Lumia Icon goes on sale today at Verizon

Verizon's newest flagship Windows Phone, the Nokia Lumia Icon, goes on sale today, Thursday, February 20. If you want to pick one up, head into a Verizon store or grab one off Verizon's Web site.

The phone will set you back $200 with a new two-year contract. For that price, you get a stellar 5-inch 1080p HD AMOLED screen, a 20-megapixel camera module and dual-LED flash, and an ultra-fast quad-core processor 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor.

Coinciding with the phone's launch, Nokia announced a promotion: if you purchase a Nokia Lumia Icon, you get $100 off … Read more

Bye XP, hello Windows 7: Yeah, the change made me nervous

I knew this day was coming. The portents were all there. Microsoft swore back in 2011 it would no longer offer support, patches, or fixes for Windows XP come this April. The company snarkily told customers they should move to a "modern operating system." A plague of locusts descended on my home office.

On a cloudy day last week, at 11:43 in the morning, I turned off my Windows XP-loaded Dell for the last time. It made a little whining, sighing noise as it powered down. All my important files were offloaded to an external hard drive and a brand-new custom-made Windows 7 desktop sat nearby, gloating about its ascendance with its shiny black case and complete lack of cat hair sucked into the fan.… Read more

Bitdefender doubles protection for half the price

Bitdefender's latest AV suite, Total Security, has already been touted as the Best Antivirus of the Year by AV-Test. It's sure to win you over with its balance of form and function as it did our security editor. Total Security's award-winning AV, unobtrusive interface, and lightning-fast scanner managed to garner an outstanding 4.5/5 star-rating on Download.com. Starting this week, Bitdefender is offering the suite (normally priced at $79.95/year for three PCs) for the low price of only $39, for two years -- and up to five PCs.

You'll enjoy

The award-winning &… Read more

Google Chrome's shutdown glitch defies an easy fix

When diagnosing PC problems, sometimes it pays to take the easy route.

About every other time I open Google Chrome lately, an error message alerts me that the browser failed to close correctly. I'm then prompted to click the Restore button to reopen the tabs that were active when Chrome last closed.

Who's got the time to figure out what's causing the browser to hiccup when it closes? Just go the restore route or start the browsing session afresh. No big deal, right?

Having nothing better to do over a holiday weekend, I decided to look into … Read more

Swype-like keyboard set for Windows Phone 8.1, report says

Swype, the much-ballyhooed virtual keyboard technology that allows users to run their fingers around the keys to type out messages, might soon have a competitor on Windows Phone 8.1.

Microsoft is planning to offer a Swype-like technology in Windows Phone 8.1, The Verge reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the company's plans. A video was posted by UnleashThePhones purporting to show the technology in action.

If Microsoft decides to go with the new input method, it will mark a significant change in the way most device owners type messages by hunting and pecking. According to The … Read more

Windows 8 designer: Why Microsoft forced Metro on us all

Microsoft designed its Metro, aka Modern, interface for "your computer-illiterate little sister, for grandpas who don't know how to use that computer 'dofangle' thingy, and for mom who just wants to look up apple pie recipes."

At least that's the take from someone who claims to have worked on the design of Windows 8.

Chiming in on a Reddit conversation on Friday, Jacob Miller, a self-described UX designer for Microsoft, said that Metro was created for casual users first and foremost, but claimed that the interface ultimately will be a boon to power users as well. … Read more

Hey Microsoft, Surface 2 is great, but clear up something please

It might be a good idea now for Microsoft to be more public about the direction of its tablet operating system so consumers know what they're buying into.

I like the Surface 2 and the Nokia Lumia 2520. A lot. As hardware, they're two of the best tablets out there. Bar none (including iPads).

But Windows RT, as it stands now, is in no-man's-land. It's not the Windows 8.1 that comes on PCs and it's not Windows Phone 8.

And it's been that way too long -- since October 2012.

So far, the … Read more

Free startup manager beats Windows 8.1's built-in tools

Say what you will about Windows, you have to admit the OS has legs. Still, you'd think that after all these years and so many versions, Windows would finally have all the tools users need right out of the box. Not so.

After last week's post on essential Windows 8.1 time-saving tweaks, a reader asked me which version of Windows was my favorite. As tempted as I was to answer "Windows 3.1" -- I still miss Program Manager -- I fessed up to preferring the current version 8.1 over any of its predecessors.… Read more

Comcast-Time Warner deal riles up consumers

CNET Update is more everything:

In this episode of Update:

- Get a quick summary of why many folks are not happy with Comcast's deal to acquire Time Warner Cable.

- See if Verizon's new "More Everything" plan is a good deal for you.

- Keep an eye out for an Xbox One Media Remote to go on sale in March.

- Find more Windows apps to download if Microsoft makes it easier for developers.

- Go by more than just male or female on Facebook, now that the social network opened up more gender identification options. … Read more