Windows 10

Microsoft revamps Windows 10 privacy settings

It's no secret that Windows 10 collects an unprecedented amount of user data, especially if left to its default settings. Now ZDNet reports that Microsoft is changing the operating system's privacy and security settings, in the midst of legal threats from regulators in France and Switzerland.

Microsoft's overhaul now collects your data in a Web-based privacy dashboard that you can access by logging in to your Microsoft account. The Windows 10 installation process will also be... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software

Tags: security and antivirus center , Windows 10 , security , Microsoft , Privacy

When Disaster Happens, You'll Wish You'd Made a Windows Backup

Windows backup software allows you to create a copy of your hard drive contents to keep in a safe place, letting you quickly restore lost files in the event of a drive failure or wayward software update. The best backup apps let you set a schedule and choose which folders to duplicate. And some let you make a bootable clone of your drive, so you can get right back to work after a drive failure.

... Read More »

Topics: Backup Software , Utilities & Operating Systems , Windows Software

Tags: Windows 10 , Windows , Windows software

What's new in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update

Microsoft is marking Windows 10's first anniversary with a big update on August 2, and the plan is so bold that it's not limited to your desktop or laptop. Since the Xbox One game console runs its own version of Windows 10, it's getting both the Anniversary Update and partial convergence with desktop Windows. Microsoft is also reinforcing its determination to make Cortana your personal digital assistant, and the Edge browser is finally getting legit support for add-ons, such as... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software

Tags: Windows 10 , Microsoft , update , operating system

The free Windows 10 upgrade expires July 29

When Microsoft launched Windows 10 last year, it declared that the OS would be free to Windows 7 and 8.1 users until July 29, 2016, with a few exceptions. On May 6, the company reiterated this expiration date, possibly to address a rising tide of customers who were hoping for an extension. If you qualify for an upgrade but have not yet gotten a Windows 10 license, you'll need to go to Microsoft's website to get... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software

Tags: Windows 10 , update , operating system

Microsoft doubles down on Cortana

At today's Build conference keynote, Microsoft announced that it's building an entire ecosystem around automated speech and text recognition, perhaps taking a cue from the burgeoning popularity of Google Now, Siri, and Alexa in the Amazon Echo. CEO Satya Nadella said of the initiative: "It is about taking the power of human language and applying it more pervasively to all of our computing. That means we need to infuse into our computers and computing intelligence -- intelligence about us and... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software

Tags: Windows 10 , update

Stop or roll back a Windows 10 upgrade

Update (May 24, 2016): On July 29, 2016, Microsoft will stop offering free upgrades to Windows 10. The company's attempts to get Windows 7 and 8.1 users onboard have become increasingly, shall we say, enthusiastic. When you are confronted with the pop-up window telling you that Microsoft has taken the liberty of scheduling an upgrade, it's disappointingly difficult to figure out how to block the process. Can you spot it in the image below?

Give up? It's the word... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software

Tags: Guides , Windows 10 , Windows 7 , Windows 8 , updates

Xbox One joins Microsoft's Universal Apps platform

Microsoft has announced that it's integrating the Xbox One game console into its Universal Windows Applications program. Announced during the run-up to Windows 10's release, Universal Windows Applications was first envisioned as a way to buy software in the Windows Store that was licensed for use on any device (mobile or desktop) running Windows 10. That original proposal did not include console games, so the addition is a major shift for the company.

Windows 10 users with Microsoft accounts can already... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software

Tags: Windows 10 , Microsoft , games , social , news

Windows 10: six-month report card

A product as ambitious as Windows 10 comes with high expectations. Upon Windows 10's release on July 29, 2015, Microsoft declared that it wanted its flagship operating system on 1 billion devices within the next three years. As of January 4, 2016, Microsoft stated that Windows 10 was active on over 200 million devices. If these were all PCs, that would be a market share of about 10%, versus 55% for Windows 7, according to data collected by... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software

Tags: Guides , Windows 10 , Windows , operating system

Windows tech support: Keyboard and mouse

Computers are complex, so inevitably you encounter glitches, error messages, and mechanical failures. Sometimes the problem isn't even the PC itself; it's the devices that you're plugging into it. A seemingly simple thing like a keyboard or a mouse can refuse to play nicely with your Windows machine, making you want to curl up like a trackball. Try our troubleshooting tricks to get your input devices to input. (And if you can't get your Windows device to turn on at... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software

Tags: Guides , Windows 10 , Windows 7 , Windows 8

Favorite apps and services of 2015

Tech junkiedom can be an expensive business, since we're always eager to try new things as soon as they're available, instead of waiting patiently for discounts. But I noticed as I gathered this list of personal favorites for 2015 that these apps and services reduce my costs, bundle one thing into another, or both. Maybe my subconcious is trying to tell me something, but I've improved my quality of life (and the heft of my wallet) with regard to my... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software , Android Software

Tags: Guides , Windows 10 , Google , mobile , streaming , Android apps