Stories by Preston Gralla

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?

FAQ: Installing Firefox 3

What will happen to my earlier version of Firefox?

OpenOffice 3.0

OpenOffice 3.0 shows that you don't have to pay a bundle for a great office suite -- in fact, you don't even have to pay a penny.

How to get and keep Windows XP after June 30

Windows XP is dead ... long live Windows XP. You may have heard that as of June 30, you're no longer able to buy the operating system or obtain support for it. But that isn't quite the case. In fact, you'll be able to buy XP on certain mainstream PCs at least until January 31, 2009, and possibly beyond. The cutoff date is even later for some ultra-low-cost notebooks such as those made by Asus: They'll sell with XP until June 2010. As for technical support, that has a lot of life left as well--officially, Microsoft will provide at least some forms of support until 2014.

10 essential (and free!) security downloads for Windows

To use an Internet-connected computer is to be insecure and place your privacy in danger. Spyware, viruses, Trojans and assorted malware are everywhere on the Net, trying to hop onto your PC and cause damage. Snoopers want to get at your personal information for nefarious purposes, such as identity theft.

Changes to UAC in Vista SP1: Much less than meets the eye

A video is making the rounds showing how Vista SP1 has significantly improved Vista's immensely annoying User Account Control (UAC). But there appears to be less to the improvement than meets the eye --- hardly any changes were made to UAC in SP1, and it remains a very big Vista annoyance.

Can OpenOffice 3.0 finally replace MS Office?

If you think that you always get what you pay for, the just-released beta of OpenOffice 3.0 should convince you otherwise. This free, open source software suite provides most of what anyone could want in an office suite, including a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation program, database, drawing tools, and math equation editor.

Memo to Microsoft: Annoyance is not a security plan

Last week a Microsoft exec revealed that Vista's User Account Control (UAC) scheme was designed from the ground up to keep people safe by constantly annoying them. Microsoft needs to learn that security through annoyance isn't the way to keep users safe --- or to keep them as customers.