We have a real treat for you this week: a sneak peek at Microsoft Office 2010. Although Redmond doesn't have plans to release its mega productivity suite for more than half a year, but Microsoft did invite us to take a spin around the technical preview of upcoming versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. We've passed the goods along in a First Look video, a slideshow of screenshots, and a First Take review. Pay special attention to the 'conversation view' planned for Outlook, which operates similarly to Gmail's threaded conversations. We'd also like to direct … Read more
As someone who parses through a prodigious amount of e-mail every day, I'm constantly working with Microsoft Outlook to find e-mails and recipients, add new contacts, write myself reminders, and make sure I actually see those reminders even after I've left the office.
Three free or free-to-try add-ons are a constant help. There's Xobni, a search tool, Gwabbit, a contact management helper, and Google Calendar Sync beta, which helps keep calendar items current in Outlook, Google's Calendar, or both. Read more about the three killer Outlook add-ons here.
If Outlook is too conventional (or expensive) for … Read more
Last week Redmond offered alert PC users a proposition: a limited beta test of its latest security application, called Microsoft Security Essentials to the first 75,000 fast-acting users in the United States, China, Israel, and Brazil. We hardly have to tell you that spots for the freeware antivirus tool that will replace Live OneCare were snapped up less than 24 hours after we posted our story.
If you're never exactly sure which words a singer screams, mumbles, or sighs throughout a song's stanza, a brand-new add-on released this week was meant for you. TuneWiki (review), a free plug-in for Microsoft's ubiquitous Windows Media Player, can stream lyrics in time to songs you play from your local library. You'll also be able to spool lyrics for the YouTube music videos you initiate within TuneWiki, watching them appear in a pane below the player.
The heart of the application is TuneWiki's lyrics Wiki, an online database whose contents are driven by community contributions, … Read more
All eyes may be on Apple this week as the Cupertino, Calif. company is set to release its iPhone 3.0 firmware and iPhone 3G S phone. But unless you number among the 10 percent of smartphone owners who actually has an iPhone, there's little reason you need iTunes, especially to organize your digital music. MediaMonkey is an excellent freemium jukebox that handles large collections especially well. Just updated to version 3.1, its ID3 tags, CD and DVD, and full-featured encoder are just the beginning. A $20 upgrade gets you, among other things, on-the-fly file conversion to your … Read more
A conference dedicated to Apple developers is likely the last place a committed Windows user would look for new Windows products. But if you tuned into Apple's keynote at the World Wide Developer's Conference in San Francisco on Monday morning, you would have seen two software announcements that apply to Windows users, too.
In its latest beta release last week, Skype received a much more ambitious feature than it did in its most recent major Windows update, Skype 4.0. In addition to bringing back birthday reminders, Skype 4.1 beta introduced screen sharing.
While choppy transmission and the limitations of broadcasting your screen to one contact at a time makes the feature best for casual desktop demonstrations rather than for serious collaboration or intense troubleshooting, screen sharing in Skype's free VoIP application is nevertheless one more engaging way to connect to friends and colleagues across the miles. Since the application is … Read more
A browser upstart like Google's Chrome must have some cleaving edge if it's to hack its way into the marketshare predominated by Microsoft's Internet Explorer, and to a far lesser extent, Firefox. Since Google Chrome doesn't yet have the add-on capabilities that have earned Mozilla's browser rabid support from open-source circles as well as from the browsing community as a whole, Chrome must best it in some other skill. Google's browser is certainly headed towards supporting add-ons, but what it can deliver now is speed.
There's a terribly messy line I recall from a movie preview, in which Drew Barrymore vents to her friend the frustrations of communicating with a potential date. "I had this guy leave me a voice mail at work, so I called him at home, and then he e-mailed me to my BlackBerry, and so I texted to his cell, and now you just have to go around checking all these different portals just to get rejected by seven different technologies," her character says. (Or something like that. It's from "He's Just Not that Into You," … Read more
In the week since Microsoft unleashed the release candidate of its Windows 7 operating system, we've had a chance to cut through the buzz to poke, prod, speculate, and evaluate from all angles.
We've walked through Windows 7 RC's more impressive attractions in a photo tour, like the more powerful Taskbar and streaming music to yourself from another PC. We've also created a video to point out changes to device management, search-term highlighting, and the virtual XP mode for running older programs. And for a deeper look at the pluses and minuses, we've drawn up … Read more