Stories by Preston Gralla

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.

It's time for Microsoft to give up on the Yahoo deal

The latest figures for share of the search market should convince Microsoft it's time to give up trying to buy Yahoo. Buying Yahoo won't help in the fight against Google -- it'll only weigh down Microsoft with a sinking company.

Why Windows is safer than the Mac

Mac users have long gloated that the Mac OS is safer than Windows. The gloating should stop: There's plenty of recent evidence that Vista is, in fact, a safer operating system than Mac OS X.

US Feds lie about link between software piracy and terrorism

The US Justice Department seems to believe that if you tell a big enough lie, people will listen. Here's the latest: Attorney General Michael Mukasey claims that terrorists sell pirated software as a way to finance their operations, without presenting a shred of evidence for his case. He's doing it to push through a controversial piece of legislation that's bad for you.

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What the Vista 'junk PC' lawsuit means for Windows 7

Microsoft has taken plenty of heat in the Vista "junk PC" lawsuit. If the company is smart, it will take those criticisms to heart, and make sure it doesn't make the same mistakes when it launches Windows 7. Here's what I think that suit means for Windows 7.

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Should Windows users boycott Apple's Safari?

Apple has made such a mess of its Safari 3.1 browser for Windows that Windows users should consider boycotting the browser, because of an underhanded way of distributing it, that according to CEO honcho John Lilly says "borders on malware."

Five reasons you should switch to Firefox 3

No matter what browser you use -- whether it be Internet Explorer, Firefox 2, or any other -- you need to switch to Firefox 3. The most recent beta shows off a browser that's the best yet for customized browsing, better downloading, and faster surfing. I've got five reasons why you should switch.

Battle of the betas: Firefox 3 beats IE8

I've put the latest betas of Firefox 3 and IE8 to the test, and the results are clear: Firefox 3 is the superior browser. Its new features make browsing the Web easier, faster, safer, and easier to customize --- and the memory leak problem seems to have been fixed. IE8, on the other hand, offers some flashy new tools, but for everyday browsing, Firefox remains superior.

First look: Firefox 3 beta 4

The just-released beta 4 version of Firefox 3 shows a browser short on flash and long on important, useful improvements that make browsing the Web easier, faster, safer, and simpler to customize. The primary interface has been somewhat modified to look more modern, but much more important are a host of less immediately obvious features that any serious Web surfer will welcome.