Friday, October 25, 2013


Hi all,

I have been talking about Windows 8 and the much waited final upgrade version of Windows 8.1, which was made available last week, October 17, 2013.

With due respect here is a summary of a very useful  article from
" Kim Komando's Breaking Newsletter":

Predictably, some of the options you'll love in 8.1 aren't turned on out of the box. You have to know where to look.
Let's start with updating from Windows 8; it isn't hard. From the Windows 8 Start screen, open the Windows Store. It will let you know Windows 8.1 is available.
It's a large update, so it will take a while to download. Fortunately, you can keep using your computer in the meantime. Once the update finishes downloading, you'll receive further instructions.

While no one is reporting any problems, I still suggest backing up your information before you start. You never know what glitches might happen.

Once Windows 8.1 is installed, the first thing you'll see is a demo with helpful hints for using Windows 8.1. Yes, Microsoft finally included instructions. You can go through the tutorial right away. If you want to save it for later, or have more questions, open the Help + Tips app in the Start screen. Next, you can start customizing. One of the first things you'll notice is that 8.1 still boots to the Start screen instead of the Desktop.

From the Start screen, click the Desktop app icon, or click the Start button in the lower left screen corner, to bring up the Desktop. Then right-click on the taskbar at the bottom of the screen and choose Properties.

Go to the Navigation tab and check the "When I sign in or close all apps on the screen, go to the desktop instead of Start" option. Now the computer will boot to the Desktop. That will make it feel more like the Windows you know.

I would also select "Show my desktop background on Start." This syncs your Desktop and Start screen backgrounds. It doesn't sound like much, but it actually helps everything make more sense. You'll see what I mean when you turn it on.

You can also turn off some of the corner hot points for accessing recent apps and the Charms menu. This makes it harder to hit them accidentally with a mouse.

Earlier I mentioned that the Start button is back, sort of. While it's right where it used to be, it just doesn't do what you'd expect. By default, clicking on it brings up the Windows 8 Start screen instead of the older-style Start menu.

If you really want the old-style Windows Start menu, you'll need a third-party option like Start8 or Classic Shell.

(To install Classic Shell you can check our post dated December 16, 2012).

However, for now, right-click on the Start button and select Properties. From there, click the Navigation tab and choose "shows the Apps view automatically when I go to Start."

Now when you click on the Start button, you'll see every app or program on the computer. You can sort them in alphabetical order or by most used.
Apps view also lets you change default programs or uninstall programs. This saves you from going through Windows 8's usual uninstall process, which is confusing.

Of course, Windows 8.1 isn't just about fixing old features. There are some nice new features as well. One new change you're sure to like is the updated Lock Screen. You can decorate your Lock Screen with any picture on your computer or from SkyDrive.

You can even turn them into picture passwords, which let you draw on an image to unlock your computer. Microsoft says it's easier and safer than a traditional password.

Microsoft has updated every built-in app, so they're much nicer to use. You'll want to go check them out if you weren't impressed the first time around.

App multitasking is a bit nicer. Instead of allowing just two apps side-by-side, you can have up to four. Plus, you get to choose how much of the screen each app takes up.

There are still some quirks, of course. Apps load in the Start screen, not the Desktop, making it hard to tell how to get out of them. However, Windows 8.1 is still much better overall than Windows 8. Hopefully, Microsoft continues that trend with the next updates and the upcoming Windows 9. Want to ditch computers in favor of a tablet? It's possible. Just be sure you have all the information you need first.

Here is the link to get the whole of this article plus more good stuff:

Thanks Kim, we all appreciate your Web Site.

George Freire

No comments: