Stories by Preston Gralla

Why Google's Windows ban doesn't make sense

Google's move to ban Windows for internal use was ostensibly for security reasons. But that looks more like a convenient excuse than anything else, because there are plenty of reasons the ban doesn't make sense.

Google Docs better; ready to take on Office?

The new version of Google Docs sports considerable collaboration tools, as well as improved editing and formatting, a faster, more useful spreadsheet and new collaborative drawing software.

10 downloads to power up your printer

What's the most underused productivity tool in your home or office? Your printer. Confined within that unassuming box, however, is a lot of power--far more than you might imagine.

Greenpeace: Facebook has a hand in global warming

Greenpeace has charged that Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Google and others are contributing to global warming by using coal to power data centers for their cloud-based services. The charges are dramatic --- but are they on target?

Microsoft turns 35: Best, worst, most notable moments

The year is 1975. Gerald Ford is in the White House, South Vietnam falls, Muhammad Ali defeats Joe Frazier in the "Thrilla in Manila" world championship boxing match, the late-night comedy show NBC's Saturday Night (later called Saturday Night Live) debuts, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest sweeps the Oscars, and Captain & Tennille's "Love Will Keep Us Together" and Glenn Campbell's "Rhinestone Cowboy" top the music charts.

Speccy public beta gives geeky system details

Want to get the rundown on every aspect of your system hardware? Speccy (free public beta) gives so much detailed, technical information about hardware, it could choke even the mind of a hard-core techie.

10 great free digital photography downloads

With these free image editors, photo managers, and other utilities, you can take control of your photo collection.

Google, Microsoft and Apple: Which one will thrive?

Apple, Google and Microsoft are locked in a three-way struggle for industry dominance, competing to varying degrees on hardware, computer and cell phone operating systems, applications, entertainment, Internet search and more.

Firefox 3.6 adds speed, Personas-is it enough?

The just-released final version of Firefox 3.6 is a moderate improvement over previous versions -- it's faster and introduces a nifty new feature or two. But at heart, it's the same browser that has steadily gained market share against Internet Explorer for years.

Has Microsoft become toothless, or a friendly partner

At one time, Microsoft was about as welcome in Silicon Valley as Darth Vader at a Jedi knight convention. Commonly referred to as the Evil Empire, the company was feared and hated in roughly equal measure when it opened its first Silicon Valley office in October 1999.

Google Chrome for Mac -- fast, slim, very beta

The just-released beta of Google Chrome for the Mac follows the same design principles that Google uses for its own site design -- the browser is stripped-down and fast, with few features to get in the way of the Web pages you browse. It is nearly identical to the PC version, but because it is in an earlier phase of development, it lacks some significant features.

10 Free Downloads for Your Laptop

Have a laptop or netbook and want to get more out of it? You're not alone. We've experienced the frustration of trying to keep data or bookmarks on a portable synchronized with those of a desktop PC or other laptops. We've struggled with diminishing battery life. We've needed assistance getting connected at hotspots or staying safe once online. And we've wondered how to take full advantage of USB flash drives.

Google's Chrome OS is a work in progress

Google released its Chrome operating system last week to a great deal of hoopla and debate — depending on your point of view, it was either the Next Big Thing or Much Ado About Nothing.

Review: Office 2010 beta debuts major features

The just-released Microsoft Office 2010 beta shows Microsoft's vision for integrating Office with the greater Internet. Most notably, it introduces a potentially powerful Outlook feature that can combine your e-mail with social networking sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn.

Windows 7 tricks: 20 top tips and tweaks

Just got your hands on Windows 7 and want to bend it to your will? No problem. We've got plenty of tips, hacks and secrets to keep you busy for a long time, including automatically opening Windows Explorer to a folder of your choice, speeding up taskbar thumbnails, finding hidden desktop themes, forcing User Account Control to act the way you'd like, keeping your Explorer searches secret from others, and more.