Software: Reviews

  • Nashorn: JavaScript made great in Java 8

    By Martin Heller | 16 April, 2014 20:06

    JavaScript on the JVM is better and faster but not always friendlier with Nashorn, the rebuilt JavaScript interpreter

  • Microsoft Windows Phone 8.1 review: Major upgrade closes the gap with iOS and Android

    By Mark Hachman | 14 April, 2014 23:04

    From the bold vibrancy of its new Start screen, to its new digital assistant, Cortana, Microsoft's new Windows Phone 8.1 establishes itself as a top-tier smartphone platform.

  • Windows 8.1 Update deep-dive review: An OS that makes more sense

    By Preston Gralla | 11 April, 2014 02:20

    In Windows 8.1 Update, Microsoft may be finally getting it right: The latest version of its operating system finally bridges the gap between touch and traditional computing.

  • Word for iPad: The new standard for Microsoft's word processor

    By Jeffery Battersby | 04 April, 2014 08:22

    It took less than 5 minutes of using Word for iPad to have an overwhelming first impression: I hope Word on every platform becomes what Word on the iPad is. Sleek, uncluttered, well organized, and beautiful, Word for iPad is impressive. An app that encompasses everything great about the desktop application, with none of the clutter. If Word for iPad is in your future, it's an app I expect you'll love to use.

  • Excel for iPad: The best spreadsheet app for the iPad

    By Rob Griffiths | 04 April, 2014 06:16

    There are any number of spreadsheet apps available for the iPad, but recently the market changed dramatically when Microsoft released the full Office suite for iPad, including a version of Excel. While you can argue that Excel is many years late to the iPad party (and I wouldn't disagree), the iPad version of Excel is a solid entrant, and instantly changes the landscape for competitive apps.

  • Big data showdown: Cassandra vs. HBase

    By Rick Grehan | 02 April, 2014 21:06

    Bigtable-inspired open source projects take different routes to the highly scalable, highly flexible, distributed, wide column data store

  • HBase is massively scalable -- and hugely complex

    By Rick Grehan | 01 April, 2014 00:19

    Apache HBase describes itself as "the Hadoop database," which can be a bit confusing, as Hadoop is typically understood to refer to the popular MapReduce processing framework. But Hadoop is really an umbrella name for an entire ecosystem of technologies, some of which HBase uses to create a distributed, column-oriented database built on the same principles as Google's Bigtable. HBase does not use Hadoop's MapReduce capabilities directly, though HBase can integrate with Hadoop to serve as a source or destination of MapReduce jobs.

  • Fedora tips its hat to mobility, cloud, big data

    By Maria Korolov | 31 March, 2014 22:24

    The latest release of Fedora, nicknamed "Heisenbug," is a step towards making Fedora a player in the mobile arena. Fedora 20 also includes more support for cloud, and this is also the first release that supports cheap, low-power ARM processors as a primary architecture, in addition to Intel and AMD chips.

  • An introduction to Cassandra

    By Rick Grehan | 24 March, 2014 14:18

    Apache Cassandra is a free, open source NoSQL database designed to manage very large data sets (think petabytes) across large clusters of commodity servers. Among many distinguishing features, Cassandra excels at scaling writes as well as reads, and its "master-less" architecture makes creating and expanding clusters relatively straightforward. For organizations seeking a data store that can support rapid and massive growth, Cassandra should be high on the list of options to consider.

  • SQL Server 2014 pushes the pedal to the metal

    By Sean McCown | 20 March, 2014 14:17

    SQL Server 2014 is a significant release with two overarching themes: cloud and speed -- or, to be specific, Azure integrations and in-memory OLTP (online transaction processing). Truth be told, I'm more excited about the speed features than the cloud stuff, but I also understand there is a growing portion of the customer base that is heading to cloud-based operations, and these shops will find the cloud features useful.

  • Review: Windows 8.1 Update offers an olive branch for mouse users

    By Woody Leonhard | 19 March, 2014 10:05

    Windows 8.1 Update brings a tiny handful of mouse-centric improvements and a hodgepodge of interface tweaks

  • Hands on with iOS 7.1: A few good improvements

    By Michael deAgonia | 14 March, 2014 10:33

    Apple's latest upgrade to its mobile operating system, iOS 7.1, adds some useful touches and fixes some of the glitches that appeared in the previous version.

  • Google's tantalizing Mobile Chrome App SDK

    By Martin Heller | 12 March, 2014 14:18

    Mobile app development is a huge pain point for most enterprises. The debate still rages about the best strategy. Should you develop native apps for the major smartphone and tablet platforms? That's expensive and time-consuming, and it means hiring hard-to-find specialists for iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, and any other platform you want to support. Should you develop mobile Web apps? That is faster and cheaper, but sacrifices both performance and features. Should you develop hybrid mobile apps, combining native app shells with Web views? That still sacrifices performance in some cases, but recovers the most important features.

  • Asus Chromebox review: A simple, inexpensive and unobtrusive desktop

    By Brian Nadel | 12 March, 2014 13:03

    The second desktop system to use Google's Chrome OS, the Asus Chromebox is a simple, inexpensive and unobtrusive alternative to traditional desktops.

  • Review + videos: 3 convertible Windows laptops try to be all devices to all people

    By Brian Nadel | 11 March, 2014 11:11

    We look at three Windows 8.1 convertibles that can transform into laptops, tablets or presentation devices, and try to discover how useful they really are.

  • Review: 3 new scanners store your documents in the cloud

    By Melissa J. Perenson | 28 February, 2014 13:54

    If you regularly need to store documents in the cloud, a desktop scanner could help. We look at three new devices from Brother, Neat Company and DCT that approach the task in different ways.

  • Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 Carbon Touch: A lightweight contender

    By Brian Nadel | 21 February, 2014 11:36

    We test Lenovo's latest ThinkPad X1 Carbon Touch ultrabook, which is sleek and powerful, offers an impressive display and comes with an interesting keyboard innovation.

  • Review: Google Chrome wants to be your OS

    By Martin Heller | 19 February, 2014 11:06

    The Chrome Apps architecture enables native-like apps, written in JavaScript with platform APIs, that load fast, run quickly, and work offline

  • Visual Studio 2013 reaches beyond the IDE

    By Martin Heller | 12 February, 2014 21:09

    Microsoft delivers editing, debugging, deployment, project architecture, and ALM improvements stretching from Windows to Web development, from mobile devices to clouds

  • Review: 10 JavaScript editors and IDEs put to the test

    By Martin Heller | 06 February, 2014 11:06

    WebStorm and Sublime Text lead a field of diverse and capable tools for JavaScript programming

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