First look: Microsoft Office 2016

This week Microsoft released a public preview of its upcoming productivity suite, Office 2016. You can download and try Office 2016 Preview for 180 days, as long as you're running Windows 7, 8.1, or 10, or Mac OS X. However, the Windows Office preview can't run alongside a current version of Office unless you set up a virtual machine. Read on for our sneak peek at what you can expect in Office 2016, before its expected final release... Read More »

Topics: microsoft_office , Windows Software

How to run Windows 10 on a virtual machine

If you want to play with Windows 10 or Office 2016 but aren't ready to abandon Windows 7 or 8 or Office 2013 just yet, there's an easy solution: a virtual machine. Broadly speaking, a virtual machine (VM) is a sandbox that tricks one operating system into running inside another. If you want a guided tour, check out our review of Windows 10.

Setup requires a more-than-entry-level PC, since you'll be running two resource-hungry OSes at once. But a... Read More »

Topics: windows , Windows Software

Tags: Guides , Windows 10 , Windows , Windows software

6 VPNs for more secure Internet connections

A VPN (virtual private network) can let you surf privately on an untrusted network, access blocked websites from work or school, view geo-restricted content, or cloak yourself from the prying eyes of advertisers. Here are six of our favorite VPN services.

Hotspot Shield VPN (Windows, Mac, Android, iOS)

Nervous about your privacy while surfing the Net? Hotspot Shield VPN shields your online activity with banking-level encryption, no matter which network... Read More »

Topics: Mac Software , Android Software , iOS Software

Microsoft Build: seeking to build a unified Windows

Microsoft's annual Build conference in San Francisco has, in recent years, become the place for product announcements, but there have been few surprises -- until now. Today's three-and-half-hour keynote had a long, geeky start, discussing cloud computing and databases, seemingly leaving few crumbs for those eager for news about Windows 10, Office 2016, and the Project Spartan Web browser. Then Terry Myerson, Microsoft's Executive Vice President of Operating Systems, came onstage. Sharp readers may... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software

Tags: Windows 10 , Windows , browser , Office

10 YouTube improvers

Ten years ago today, YouTube cofounder Jawed Karim uploaded the site's first video, an 18-second clip called Me at the Zoo shot at the elephant enclosure. In the decade since, we've seen far more engaging videos, from the Evolution of Dance to Leave Britney Alone to "Gangnam Style." Now boasting over a billion users worldwide, YouTube has become a place to learn how to do things, break new recording artists, and document social unrest. Whether you... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software , Browsers And Extensions , Android Software , iOS Software

5 apps to save resources and money

You don't have to be an environmentalist to be concerned with sustainability. With Earth Day this week, we're thinking outside the recycling bin, examining ways that software helps conserve resources , from paper and batteries to money and time.

BatteryBattery Doctor (iOS, Android)

Your battery is your phone's most precious resource, and Battery Doctor helps conserve it. This essential app monitors your battery status, notifies you about CPU and memory usage, and offers tips to save your... Read More »

Topics: Android Software , iOS Software

7 mobile payment apps

Cash is dirty, requires counting, and is easily lost or stolen. Credit cards have high fees, lead to overspending, and consume precious pocket space. That's why many savvy spenders are turning to convenient and secure mobile payment apps for their transactions. Here are seven of the most popular for paying retailers or making peer-to-peer payments.

PayPal (iOS, Android)

PayPal, which launched in 2010, is perhaps the most established mobile payment app. With it you can send... Read More »

Topics: iOS Software

First look: Project Spartan browser

Microsoft has delivered a fresh build (10049) of Windows 10 technical preview, including a first taste of its brand-new browser, code-named Project Spartan. The build is available to those already running the Windows 10 tech preview and enrolled in the fast ring upgrade path (find out how to turn on the fast ring upgrade). Once you upgrade your Windows 10 preview to the current version, you'll see Project Spartan's icon on the Taskbar.

... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software

5 apps that make the iPad

When the iPad was first introduced five years ago today, many critics dismissed it as a questionably named toy for Apple fanboys. Now, with 250 million iPads sold, Apple has proven that the thin, light, high-res device is worth far more than its weight in recycled aluminum. Here are five iPad apps that have helped make Apple's aluminum tablet the gold standard.

Duet Display

Duet Display enables you to use your iPad as an additional screen for your... Read More »

Topics: iPad , iOS Software

7 live-streaming video apps

Live-streaming app Meerkat was the next big thing at South by Southwest Interactive, but a week later fickle fans turned their love to Periscope, Twitter's just-released app for feeding live video to followers. Buzz is no predictor of ultimate success and ubiquity -- remember Secret? Ello? But it makes sense that live video is having a moment: smartphones have made photographers, videographers, and media consumers of us all, not to mention social sharers (and oversharers). To start broadcasting yourself,... Read More »

Topics: Android Software , iOS Software