Software Reviews

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Google Duo

Duo is Google's answer to Apple's FaceTime, and the company swears that the video-calling app is totally different than Hangouts.

Microsoft Windows 10

Windows 10 delivers a refined, vastly improved vision for the future of computing with an operating system that's equally at home on tablets and traditional PCs -- and it's a free upgrade for most users.

Editors' Choice
$8.99 at Netflix

Netflix

Netflix remains the top TV and movie streaming service, thanks to its ease of use, lack of commercials and original content.

WhatsApp Messenger

Though you only get a few extra useful features, WhatsApp Messenger is an excellent choice for sending free texts across platforms, even internationally.

YouTube Music

Google serves up a new app for music lovers called YouTube Music that organizes all the different versions of your favorite tunes into a central hub with guided paths for artists discovery and new music curation.

Apple Music

Apple Music has a lot of potential, but its iCloud Music Library bugs and confusing interface keep it from edging out Spotify for now.

Google Photos

Free unlimited storage, automatic backup and fun editing effects make Google Photos one of our favorite tools for wrangling your photos.

FreeTone

If you're looking for a spare number to deal with people from Craigslist or similar services, FreeTone does the job, but with the syncing problems and so many ads, there are better apps out there.

Waze Social GPS Maps & Traffic

For anyone looking for more reliable traffic data than Apple's and Google's stock maps applications, Waze is definitely worth a download.

Editors' Choice

Adobe Flash CS3 Professional

Adobe has improved the speed of Flash and its integration with other CS3 apps, although flashy new features are few. Plus, Flash now works natively on Intel-based Macs.

DirecTV Now

DirecTV Now delivers an impressive mix of channels for the money, but people who prioritize a cloud DVR should look elsewhere.

Editors' Choice
$59.95 MSRP

TurboTax Deluxe 2008 Federal + State

TurboTax 2008 is the most expensive tax app on the market, but it's also fast, complete, and straightforward. If finishing quickly is your goal, the extra cost is worth it. If you anticipate wanting live help support, look into TaxCut.

Editors' Choice
$79.99 MSRP

Norton 360

For home and student use, we think Norton 360 represents the best value for ease of use, tools offered, and overall system performance. We recommend it over McAfee Total Protection and Microsoft Windows Live OneCare.

Windows Vista Home Basic

Windows Vista Home Basic is essentially warmed-over Windows XP, Windows XP SP3. If you're currently happy with Windows XP SP2, we see no compelling reason to upgrade. On the other hand, if you need a new computer right now, Windows Vista is stable enough for everyday use.

Microsoft Windows 8.1

If you're a dedicated Windows 8 hater, the update to Windows 8.1 isn't going to change your mind. For everyone else, this collection of tweaks, fixes, and new features is useful, but everything here should have shipped in the original version last year.

Microsoft Works 8

Works 8.0 is ideal for technophobes and Luddites who need an extremely simple interface for their home-computing chores.

Microsoft Windows 8 Pro Upgrade

Microsoft makes an aggressive, forward-thinking, and bold statement for the future of PCs with Windows 8, and vast security and speed improvements more than justify the $40 upgrade price.

Microsoft Windows 7

Windows 7 is more than what Vista should have been, it's where Microsoft needed to go. How much damage Vista did and whether Windows 7 is enough for people to finally abandon Windows XP are questions that nobody has the answers to right now.

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