Microsoft Considering a Freebie?

For anyone who can remember Microsoft charging $495 or $795 for software, it’s a small victory…according to the, Redmond is experimenting with a free version of Windows 8.1. It’s being positioned as Windows 8.1 with Bing, and is focused on getting Windows 7 users to upgrade.

At 19 billion, WhatsApp has gotten a lot of notice since being bought by Facebook, and there are lots of messaging services around…some even shred your messages seconds after they’re read…but they travel through regular channels and can be intercepted by the likes of the NSA. reports that the people that make TOR, the anonymous browser, are developing an anonymous instant messenger that will be rolled out at the TOR Winter Developers Meeting in Iceland.

Net tools get smarter and smarter, and big data marches one. says Bloomberg now has sentiment analysis tools that tell traders about spikes in positive or negative chatter about companies…in other words, they gauge the collective mood on Twitter for a stock or company.