With the first public alpha release of Windows 7 due Monday at the Microsoft PDC2008 conference, the outline of the new operating system is taking shape. What you won't see when that alpha comes out is the way that Microsoft will try to use Windows 7 as a Trojan horse in its war against Google.
The Internet was built on a very simple idea: People should be able to communicate more easily with one another, using their computers. So it should be no surprise that communication -- particularly in the form of e-mail and instant messaging -- is still at the heart of why most people go online.
Google's Chrome is a stripped-down, no-nonsense browser. Unlike Firefox, there isn't an array of add-ons available to change its behavior. So at first glance, you might think there's not a lot you can do to hack Chrome or bend it to your will.
Firefox 3 was released just this June, and many Firefox fans believe the new version is clearly the best browser you can get. You can make it even better with free add-ons, which integrate directly into the browser and offer loads of useful new features.
Those who expect Internet Explorer 8 to be a warmed-over version of IE7 or a me-too response to Firefox 3 will be surprised by the just-released Beta 2 of IE8. It offers a well-thought-out set of features that makes Web browsing faster and more intuitive, including more intelligent tabs, a much improved Address Bar, and new tools designed to deliver information from other Web pages and services.
As I've written about in my column, Google has lost its mojo. Now even more evidence comes along: Google has eliminated its much-hyped free dinner policy. This is more than a merely cosmetic change. It may represent a turning point in the way Google treats its employees, and its ability to attract new ones.
Fans of all-in-one security suites should take a serious look at the just-released Kaspersky Internet Security 2009, which includes modules for antivirus, antispyware, firewall and more, yet uses little enough system resources and RAM that it won't slow down or clog up your system.
Google went from startup to behemoth in record time. But there are increasing signs that Google has become just another fat, happy, and even arrogant company, no longer the lean, industry-changing giant of the past. And that spells good news for Microsoft.
Firefox 3 has been out for two weeks now, so get with the program: It's time to hack it. The newest version of Mozilla's browser has plenty of new features, including the site identification button, the Bookmarks Library and what has become known as the "Awesome Bar" -- and I'll show you how to hack them all.
Like most people visiting this site, you most likely live on the Internet. And that means you need help -- help with your home or business network for accessing the Internet, help with troubleshooting, help with downloading, and with e-mail, instant messaging, and security.
With the impending retirement of Bill Gates from Microsoft comes an obvious question: How will history view him? As a founder of the world's most influential software vendor and one of the biggest creators of wealth ever? Or as a monopolist and digital robber baron?
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