DirecTV Now delivers an impressive mix of channels for the money, but people who prioritize a cloud DVR should look elsewhere.
Sony's PlayStation Vue lets you ditch cable TV and still enjoy tons of live channels and DVR features, and you don't even need a PlayStation.
Mozilla Thunderbird 2 is a fine, free, extensible e-mail client and a solid alternative to pricey Microsoft Outlook 2007 or the free Windows Live Mail.
Project Spartan is now available for testing on Windows 10.
Google Home is a breezy service that lets you create a custom sign-in page chock-full of news and widgets.
Fresh on the heels of its acquisition of DVR company Meedio, Yahoo's entry in the alternative Media Center front-end sweepstakes, Yahoo Go for TV, is currently available as a beta release from the company's Web site. The program offers easy media management in a free package, but hardware support is limited, and the emphasis on driving branded online content knocks local file browsing to second place.
This app is useful on its own now, but with a concept feature on display at IFA 2014, you might never again have to open your oven door to check on food while it's cooking.
Google Notebook lets you save the text, the images, and the URL of origin for Web sites that interest you, but its features are limited.
Lyve is a fast and hands-off way to organize your photos if you don't want to do it yourself.
LibreOffice is a great office suite, but it can't compete with modern apps that offer strong compatibility with Microsoft Office, and also work on mobile devices and the Web.
Using a fully customizable menu, you can now build your own beer for the PicoBrew Pico.
AOL Video aims to be a one-stop shop for video, but it needs more compelling content and reliable playback.
Apple's Photos for Mac OS X Yosemite combines an iOS-like interface with advanced editing tools familiar to desktop users. CNET takes a closer look at the developer release.
The brainy Google Desktop 2 does a mixed job anticipating the content you want. Still, it provides a handy link to files, apps, and Web sites that you access the most, and its search is powerful, too.
We really like Opera 9, but we like it more as the cool, arty browser that it is and not as our everyday workhorse for the Internet.
Deepnet Explorer may not have the institutional support of Internet Explorer, but it offers more built-in features than Microsoft provides.
Apple's new iOS 8 app aims to be a hub for fitness and health. Here's how.
Amazon Unbox has taken its knocks, but it's a strong choice if you own a Windows PMC, or if you don't mind watching movies on your monitor.