Stories by Preston Gralla

Microsoft's secret weapon against Google

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.

16 e-mail and instant messaging boosters

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.

50 tools to speed up your PC

Is your PC tired and sluggish? Has its get up and go got up and went? If you want a faster system, you could certainly break the bank and buy a new machine. Or you could read this article instead.

Fifteen great Microsoft Office optimization tools

What's the most popular application software in the world? Most likely, Microsoft Office. You use it, your colleagues use it, your relatives use it, and just about everyone you know uses it.

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Chrome secrets: Dig into Google's new browser

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.

Fifteen must-have Firefox add-ons

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.

Google Chrome: the first true Web 2.0 browser

Google's just-released Chrome takes the same approach to browser design that Google takes to its home page -- stripped-down, fast and functional, with very few bells and whistles.

Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2 has nifty 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.

More evidence that Google's Mojo is gone

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.

Review: Kaspersky Internet Security 2009 -- fast, lean, effective

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.

Free Windows XP tuneup: Put new life into an old workhorse

Microsoft may have given up on Windows XP, but that doesn't mean you have to.

Why Google has lost its mojo

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.

Hands on: 12 quick hacks for Firefox 3

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.

14 vital Internet tools

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.

Gates' historical legacy may focus more on philanthropy than on Microsoft

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?