Our top 30 favorite Windows 8 apps as of March 2013
When Windows 8 launched we posted our 18 best of the best app picks from the new Windows Store. Four months later we found the situation hasn’t been improving as quickly as we'd like, but at least a handful of new apps are worthy of your attention. The goal of this column going forward is to let us take on the burden sifting through all the crapware, and finding the precious few apps that are actually worth installing. It’s a thankless job, but somebody has to do it.
Our list of the 18 best launch apps has been updated with an additional 12 new picks, and we intend to keep this article updated going forward. Hit the jump and lay down a bookmark to keep an eye on the ever evolving Windows 8 app scene.
Microsoft Messenger users are advised to begin migrating to Skype.
Microsoft to Messenger users: Turn off the lights, the party's over. Well, it soon will be, anyway. Microsoft has begun emailing the more than 100 million Messenger users in the wild to inform them that it's pulling the plug on its instant messaging service on March 15, 2013. At that time, they'll be forced to upgrade to Skype, provided they want to keep all their contacts intact.
It was rumored that Microsoft planned on retiring its Windows Live Messenger service in favor of Skype, and rather than keep users guessing, the Redmond software maker has now confirmed that's indeed the case. Skype's Tony Bates made the official announcement in a blog post, adding that Messenger users can port their contacts over to Skype by updating to the latest version of the VoIP software.
The sheer power of video is well-known; we all remember what it did to radio back in the ’80s, after all. But what would happen if video picked a fight with video? Curious, we tossed two of the top video chat options into a cage to determine the superior specimen. Skype may be the big man on campus, but Google's scrappy video calling plugin delivers the same features from within the Google ecosystem. There can be only one!
Note: This article was taken from the September issue of the magazine.
Ever since Skype updated its network to transfer the supernodes that power the service away from a P2P system and onto secure, Skype-run data servers, rumors have run rampant that the update occurred solely to make Skype more amicable to government wiretapping requests. Yesterday, the Washington Post ran a story claiming that Skype recently expanded its cooperation with authorities, and the architecture changes let the company provide more chat and user info to feds. Last evening, Skype officially responded to the various allegations in a blog post by COO Mark Gillett. In a nutshell, Gillett says the rumors are nuts.
Microsoft on Monday confirmed that a wily bug in Skype could, in some instances, cause instant messages (IMs) to be delivered to a different IM client than the one intended. It only occurs when Skype crashes during an IM session, which Microsoft said could result in the last IM entered or sent ending up finding its way to a random contact. Today Microsoft started rolling out a hotfix.
Skype is virtually everywhere. There are native Skype clients for almost all major platforms, from the PC to mobile devices to connected TVs. But what about the Web? After all, it too is an apps platform, and a powerful one at that. Even though a browser-based version of Skype doesn’t exist at the moment, recent job postings by Microsoft have revealed that an effort to remedy this situation is already underway.
Few things matter more than a solid Internet connection when you’re a geek on the run. Along those lines, you can find decent Wi-Fi at airports, but you’ll pay through the nose to access it – most of the time, that is. Skype’s pulling its best Santa Claus impression and gifting fliers (naughty or nice) with an hour of free Wi-Fi at 50 airports across the U.S. during the peak holiday travel season.
Video may have killed the radio star, but Vdio, the online video equivalent of Rdio, will do battle with Netflix for streaming supremacy. Up until yesterday, Vdio was a secret project headed by Skype creators Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, along with a modest team of heavy hitting players who aren't accustomed to failure, people with experience from Skype, Napster, Microsoft, TV Guide, and Apache. Does Netflix have anything to worry about?