Staff picks

Microsoft Apps

Microsoft is revamping many of its apps to optimize them for a multi-device experience and for the Web. Fortunately, they all share a similar design inspired by the Metro style introduced with Windows 8.

One of the most useful Microsoft application is the new Skydrive. It synchronizes all your files on all your PCs and lets you access them from the Web. The app is fully integrated with Outlook so you can send files to your friends as attachment or as link to the Web app. It also features a complete office suite so you can edit the files online with the familiar Excel, Word or Powerpoint interface.

Microsoft is retiring the decade-old Windows Messenger and replacing it with Skype, their latest acquisition. Like Skydrive, it's being integrated with other Microsoft apps so you share files while video chatting with your friends or colleagues.

Bing benefits from constant improvement by Microsoft. It's now also available on "out of the browser" with Bing Desktop so you can set the beautiful Bing 'photo of the day' as your wallpaper and enable the Windows + H keyboard shortcut to search the Web directly from your desktop.

Internet Explorer is also being redesigned and it already matches the speed and simplicity of Chrome and Firefox. IE 10 is available on Windows 7 and 8.

Microsoft Security Essentials is certainly the most acclaimed security app for Windows. An anti-virus, anti-malware and anti-spyware, it protects your from the most dangerous threats, in real-time and without bothering you with any ad or promotion.

PhotoSynth was the first photo app to combine a series of pictures into a full 3D image/globe. Take some pics of your room or street, and PhotoSynth merges them into a single globe inside which you can move in every direction. A sort of personal Street View for every place.