Thinking Of Upgrading Your Computer System To Microsoft Windows 8.1

In 2012 Microsoft launched Windows 8. In some respects, the idea behind the new platform was to bridge the gap between Windows on PC’s / laptops and the new touchscreen devices such as tablets and mobile phones.

Sadly, Windows 8 was not the success Microsoft had hoped for, with many users complaining about the huge departure away from familiar layouts. This resulted in confusion and frustration about what can essentially be called an unfinished platform.

Moving on a year, Microsoft has launched version Windows 8.1. With the majority of existing Microsoft users deciding to reject the initial Windows 8 upgrade, is this the right time for them to consider 8.1? Also, what about existing Windows 8 users? Should they upgrade too?

Virtually all PC’s and laptops are now sold with either Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 operating system. Therefore, when investing in new hardware in the future, there is no escape and you will be forced to accept the latest platform over your preferred option.

Additionally, Microsoft have announced that they will cease supporting Windows 7 from January 2015, and therefore it’s inevitable that you will need to adopt this latest offering even if it’s later rather than sooner. However, for now we recommend that current users of Windows 7 or earlier talk to us first – but usually we advise you to continue using your existing system.

Should a Windows 8 user upgrade to Windows 8.1?

When Windows 8 launched in 2012, many of the touchscreen devices it was designed for were simply not available for purchase. Those that were available were considered too expensive against the price of the competition.

Moving on a year and there is now more choice for touchscreen laptops, tablets and all in one devices at considerably better pricing. The relative failure of Windows 8 meant that developers were hesitant to create apps for these devices although there is now a feeling Microsoft are getting it right and apps are being launched at a faster rate. That said, the competition with Android and Apple is so firmly established there is a feeling of too little too late. But, the one advantage for Microsoft is the integration with a Windows platform, which the competition is unable to offer. So, for users looking for a device that offers more, combining business and leisure capability, this could be Microsoft’s single competitive advantage.

For Windows 8 users the decision to upgrade to Windows 8.1 should be relatively easy given the many advantages listed below. This upgrade is FREE which will be welcome news and is available at Windows Store.

What are the advantages of Microsoft Windows 8.1?

1. Customisable

Windows 8.1 introduces Snap functionality to the Start Screen, which allows you to re-size different applications screens independently of one another, allowing the user to run multiple apps on the same screen. Live tiles can also be re-sized with 3 different sizes, Small, Regular and Large. The desktop background can also be matched to the start screen for a unified look.

In Windows 8, users were restricted to two apps open simultaneously on screen. This has doubled to four and each can be sized independently depending on which app you are working on at the time.

2. Automatic App Updates

All applications installed from the Windows Store will automatically update in the background while you are using your PC rather than ask you to update every app individually. This is a nice time saver and an admin function you never have to worry about.

3. It consumes less disk space

Windows 8.1 has offers some new functionality & features, however Microsoft says that’s it uses between 8-15% less space on your hard drive.

4. Smart Search

Search Charm on Windows 8 was pretty good, but the new search facility on Windows 8.1, called Smart Search is in a different league. It’s incredibly versatile searching all aspects of the device including apps to produce more comprehensive results. When searching on a topic such as a specific famous person, Windows 8.1 will produce what Microsoft have called a “Search Hero” which displays relevant information, such as Date of Birth, Death, photographs, discography etc.

This new search facility alone is worth updating for.

5. Greater External Display Support

Windows 8.1 Allows greater options, especially when running a tablet on external displays, it also supports DPI scaling, which essential allows you to set different scaling text and icon settings per monitor, especially useful with high resolution displays.

6. Live Lock Screen

Windows 8.1 brings the option to allow calendar appointments, email notifications etc all from the lock screen, before you login. You can also set the lock screen to display a slide show of your own pictures

7. Desktop

Windows 8.1 allows the user to boot straight to the desktop, instead of the Start screen. One of the biggest complaints about Windows 8 was the removal of the Start button. It’s a welcome return to a familiar friend, although the start menu in windows 8.1 is not like previous versions, it’s a cut down version of the old start menu.

In Windows 8.1 the Start screen gets a major redesign to make it easier to customize, with a wider range of tile sizes to accommodate more items on the Start screen. And of course there’s a check box that lets you bypass the Start screen and go straight to the desktop.

In summary there are new features in just about every corner of this platform that are superior to Windows 8. Windows have also added an online tutorial which was sadly missing before and could have prevented some of the frustration. Whilst we wouldn’t say Windows 8.1 is now the finished item, it’s clearly head and shoulders better than its predecessor.

With any new system, there are invariably downsides which the manufacturer doesn’t wish to tell you…

1. No Option To Un-Install

There is no way to un-install windows 8.1 or revert to a system restore point prior to the update. This means that once you press the button, there is simply no turning back. You have to work with what you’ve got whether you like it or not. Overall, this shouldn’t be an issue for Windows 8 users and is not as relevant if you are considering upgrading from Windows 7 or earlier because if you have Windows 7 you will have recovery partition or media, so will be able to revert back quiet easily.

2. Software Reinstallation

Very often Windows 8.1 requires users to re-install software that was working fine, before the upgrade. As with any upgrade, it is advisable to ensure you have completed a full system back up and that you ensure you have installation media, user identification, licence keys and passwords for all of your other software.

As a precaution, it is worth checking whether your other software is updated to be compatible with Windows 8.1. Some software may not be compatible and therefore cease to function. It is so important you check this out before running an upgrade of this magnitude.

3.Drivers Issues

Many users have also reported that they need to re-install drivers for many devices, so external devices, peripherals; external monitors etc may stop working completely after this update. For any upgrade, there will always be one or two potential issues with drivers so this isn’t something new.

4. Start Menu

Windows 8.1 restores the Start Menu, however this is not the Start menu that users have become accustomed to over the last 13 or so years. The menu has limited functionality, with its primary function being to take the user back to the start screen.

5. Mouse Issue

Some computer mice stop working correctly, or start to act sporadically under windows 8.1, especially for Gamers, although Microsoft are currently working on a fix. Windows 8 or 8.1 is not the best for working with a keyboard and mouse – it is ideally suited to touch screen devices.

6. No Direct Download

Unlike other previous service packs on Windows 7 and XP, you cannot manually download and install the service pack, the installation must be carried out from the Microsoft Apps Store.

Summary

Whenever you are considering updating your system you should ideally talk to your IT support company and allow them to run checks on your systems first and point out the potential issues you may have. Some will be known, but there’s always the chance of a ghost in the closet due to the vast range of software that is available and used for business purposes with the age old chestnut of current compatibility.

Additionally, before any update, a full system back-up is advisable to protect you from a potential failure.

Our final words…

  • If you’re an existing Windows 8 user, the update is free and largely seamless, and adds some useful new tweaks and features. You should upgrade as soon as possible but follow our advice so that we can do our best to protect you.
  • If you’re a Windows 7 user consider keeping with it until it’s absolutely necessary to invest in a new PC; those touch-optimized Windows 8 and 8.1 elements won’t do much for you anyway, and Windows 7 still works well with most applications

How to Find the Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

Windows Phone 7 marketplace is Microsoft’s virtual store to download apps, games, music, TV shows, movies, podcasts-in other words, everything that makes your Windows Phone 7 more fun and useful. In this article, you’ll learn how to find and buy great Windows Phone 7 apps and entertainment in Marketplace. I’ll also cover the Games hub. With its strong Xbox pedigree, Windows Phone 7 is quickly shaping up to be a killer gaming machine.

You’ll find Marketplace on both your phone and PC. Think of the PC version as the flagship store: It has everything Microsoft has to offer. The Marketplace hub on your phone is a branch outlet. It deals only in apps, games, and music. But the hub has the advantage of convenience, since you can shop directly on your phone. By the way, not everything in Marketplace costs money. Many apps and games are free. Some paid apps in Marketplace also let you try them before you buy them.

Speaking of games, Windows Phone is the first mobile device to fully weave in Xbox LIVE, Microsoft’s hugely popular online gaming service, with more than 20 million subscribers. If you’re one of them, you’ll have access to your avatar, gamerscore, and other familiar Xbox goodies right on your phone. So let the fun begin!

Touring the Marketplace Hub

The Marketplace hub is one of the default tiles on your Start screen. The hub is divided into several areas, including a list of featured apps and a main menu. On the menu you can pick from Apps, Games, Music, or any custom category added by your cell-phone carrier. This screen also shows the status of items you’re downloading and whether any software updates are available for apps already on your phone. Apps-short for applications-are the add-on software programs that give smartphones their smarts. Because Windows Phone 7 is the new kid on the block, only time will tell how many you’ll find for it in Marketplace. But early signs look promising. Marketplace is expected to have 16 categories of apps, including books, business, entertainment, finance, games, health and fitness, lifestyle, music and video, navigation, news and weather, photos, productivity, social, sports, tools, and travel.

Control Based On Bluetooth Technology

Nowadays on the market there are products that offer PC lock solutions. The idea is that you have a small “e-tablet” dongle in your hands and a receiver connected to USB port. It works like a car key.

By using your Bluetooth compatible mobile could do the same – just come in and Windows gets logged on – just step out – and it gets locked/hibernated. There are a few programs that provide such solution. They are: Wireless PC locks (GoldLantern, FrozenCPU, TrippLite), AccessAngel and Rohos Logon Key.

Listing each program’s advantages and disadvantages would be time consuming thus I would like to take note of Rohos Logon Key software.

The Rohos Logon Key enables to use wireless devices equipped with BlueTooth for computer security. Your mobile phone or pocket PC, Palm, Nokia plays the role of your wireless key from your computer. It provides automatic Windows access approaching the computer with mobile phone. Computer will be protected with password, but you don’t have to enter it manually, thus making life easier for lazybones J.

When you step away from computer – Rohos Logon automatically locks the screen.

Using a generous 15-day trial period I was able to work out how the program works and I’m happy to share about it with you.

How it works:

Computer should have BlueTooth adapter.

The Rohos Logon saves your phone ID wirelessly

When the phone is near your computer, the access to it is open: automatic logon or it gets unlocked.

Also if you step away from computer, it will automatically be locked within 2 seconds.

* In comparison with AccessAngel you shouldn’t install additional programs onto your computer, mobile phone or Pocket PC.

Here are some tips how to set up mobile or Pocket PC login:

First step:

First, you should install on you computer the Rohos Logon Key

In the main window screen open dialog box “Rohos Options”

In this dialog box for the type of device used as a USB key choose BlueTooth Phone/Pocket PC.

Second step:

Install BlueTooth adapter that is compatible with Windows

In the main window screen click “Set up USB flash drive”. In the dialog box should appear the name of BlueTooth device, that was detected within the radius of coverage.

In the dialog box enter your Windows login password. If you haven’t used a password so far, it’s time to create one :0)

Now you should restart computer

! If you left your phone at home you might use usual password or emergency logon (that’s offered by Rohos Logon).

Advantages:

No need to enter password manually for computer login – automatic Windows access

Password info is saved on computer encryptedly

Supports Windows Vista

Multi-logon feature

Personal version is just 25$, for corporate clients there is business version just for 39$.

Disadvantages:

BlueTooth operating radius may be up to 150 meters. Thus, auto-lock may work not as fast as a user would like it to.

The point is that wouldn’t it make more sense to use the software solution that daily helps you rather than the ones that do not meet all your needs for easy access and PC security!

Tweak Your Windows

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Optimizing overall performance of your PC is definitely an important reality. The version of Windows today proves to have a better performance, which may relate the memory usage of other applications. For Windows monitoring as well as trouble shooting, Windows offers well-known tools like Task Manager, Resource Monitor, and MSConfig. These tools tend to be effective and easy to work with, however they represent only a tiny portion of what Windows system optimizing applications can accomplish. Many Windows optimizing programs provide you with levels of depth and detail that are intelligible and helpful merely to professional users, however, plenty of other tools can assist average users to find out what is happening behind the scene. Here is a free highlight.

These tools usually come with a combination of cost-free Windows programs which help users optimize, twist, repair, cleanup as well as accelerate your Windows. Some of the functionality you might be looking for are Disk Cleaner, Registry Cleaner, File Recovery, File Shredder, Auto Clicker, WiFi Hotspot Creator, Keylogger, Shortcut Fixer, File Splitter & Joiner, File/Folder Monitor, Resource Extractor, Empty Folder Remover and others for optimizing and boosting your system efficiency. It will certainly increase system speed, eradicate system fault, strengthen security and satisfy all the other expectations. Now let’s uncover these functionalities.

Cleanup and Restore Registry

Your Windows registry is certainly one database of all the specifics of the PC and in addition the programs installed on the computer. The device’s registry could become corrupted by spyware and viruses. Advanced Win Utilities Free is made available for those who really need to clean and repair their registry. Given a device registry cleaner & repair tool, Advanced Win Utilities Free can help you check out your registry for obsolete & damaging entries thereafter help you clean them up and fix your registry, take away errors & improve your Computer’s functionality.

Clean Disk

If you hope to reduce the number of needless files on your local disk to release drive space and help the computer run even faster, try free disk cleaner tool. It takes away unnecessary or outdated flotsam and jetsam from your disk drives or other storage devices like USB drives. This disk utility even can provide secure file deletion, making certain that removed files are unable to be recovered again.

Protect Web Privacy

The integrated privacy cleaner software of Advanced Win Utilities Free is meant to secure the confidential and sensitive info through process of cleaning up the various track of the browsers like IE, Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Opera. With only a single click, free privacy cleaner makes it possible to clear off all of the cache, cookies, history, typed URLs, auto-complete info and Window’s internet temp folder, run history, search history, download history, recent documents, and a lot more.

Backup Drivers

If you are experiencing an operating system reinstall or restoring a driver collapse, it has to be distressing to find the dated driver disc left behind in some dusty place, or even a whole lot worse, to surf one website to another to find a driver which is exactly compatible with your device. Backing up all of the drivers with Advanced Win Utilities Free is definitely the most dependable and most hassle-free method to prevent those from happening. It could actually output any driver you want and when you need it, just restore it from the prearranged directories. In addition, it exports browser cookies, IE Favorites and the PC registry to make them recoverable after crashes or other disasters.

Recover Deleted Files

Energized by the recent file recovery technology, the free data recovery tool is the most intensive file recovery method for regaining data via NTFS, FAT, FAT32, exFAT, HFS+, Ext2/Ext3/Ext4, UFS file systems. It helps get back deleted data like image, e-mails, docs, music, video, compressed files… from a range of storage devices including hard drives, USB drives, memory cards, and the like. Now, it is possible to restore the erased files caused by unintentional removal, disk formatting, virus attack as well as various other causes.

Shred Files

Advanced Win Utilities Free has free file shredder program to get rid of any unnecessary files & folders thoroughly and also wipe empty trash can to assure there’s nothing recoverable. It contains 3 deletion methods to make sensitive or confidential info shredded permanently so that nobody can retrieve them.

Fix Shortcut

When you open up a file or image, it may create a shortcut in your system. When you delete these files or pictures, their shortcuts remain, this means you need to have shortcut fixer to look for obsolete shortcuts and eliminate them thoroughly. Advanced Win Utilities Free offers a shortcut fixer that will find all the shortcuts you have got on desktop, in Start menu or every spot of the PC, and delete orphaned or worthless shortcuts to keep your PC in order.

Remove Empty Folders

Empty folders are continually created while in uninstallation and deletion. It’s a problem to take care of if you should keep overlooking them. Advanced Win Utilities Free could help you locate where the empty folders are and get rid of them in a single mouse click. It may search within the specific paths and allow you to leave out the hidden folders & computer system folders for stability purpose. Now sweep your computer and restructure the folders.

Find Duplicate Files

Duplicate files are really duplicates of each other, but yet have appearances in numerous places. They fritter away user’s disk space and also, you may lose files once you delete a file assuming that there’s an additional copy when in fact there is not! Advanced Win Utilities Free can scan for the duplicate data and eliminate them once and for all. It helps save your PC from lack of organization, free up storage space and reduce time waste when searching for files.

Encrypt Files

To actually safeguard your own documents, memos, password lists, investment details, plus more, you can easily add passwords to them to ensure that your essential info will not get in the wrong hands. File encryptor within Advanced Win Utilities Free is becoming an opportune application having the ability to secure different kinds of files to protect against modifying, duplicating and printing. Built-in with effective algorithms like for example Rijndael, Blowfish, DES, 3DES, etc., there isn’t any chance to decrypt these files without your authorization.

Lock EXE Files

In case you share the computer with others, you might need to prevent one or two programs from being launched. As for instance, you probably don’t want someone else to run the tax preparation, financing or message software. The free EXE lock has the ability to take care of these situations, as it enables you to secure any executable applications from non-authorized execution with password. This free EXE lock is ideal for keeping visitors away from your confidential information.

Password Management

For those who have many login IDs & passwords of the sites you use, it has to be difficult to remember them all. Unfortunately using exactly the same ID/password for all the accounts is definitely harmful – Advanced Win Utilities Free can help you fix this. The in-built password manager can hold numerous logins inside a password-protected file. You’re able to store the ID and password of bank account, social sites, communication tools and many more. It also includes an innovative password generator for making strong yet easy-to-remember password. It doesn’t save the passwords within the program or upload them to a server – you are the sole one that is aware of the logins.

Auto-Click Mouse

The free mouse auto clicker application is provided to automatically click the mouse button in any programs, web page or PC games and all screen areas you choose. This free auto clicker can simulate left & right click to free your finger from recurring mouse click. It’s possible to preset the click times and the delay between two clicks. It aids you to make several easy yet quite time-consuming activities, allowing you to take pleasure in the carefree life without focusing on the computer.

Auto Shutdown

Advanced Win Utilities Free comes with an auto shut down manager to help you make shutdown schedule for your computer and that means you don’t have to wait up till the job is over. It may set particular time, once, daily or weekly to auto execute the shutdown, restart, standby or possibly hibernate. It will run quietly in background without using up much system resources. It enables you to set keyboard shortcuts to shutdown/restart/standby/hibernate/log off instantly as you press the correct key combinations. The application can save lots of money on electricity use and let the computer rest more often.

Create WiFi Hotspot

If you wish to use the notebook computer as a WiFi router to give all your cellular phones as well as other devices the chance to get connected to the internet, you’ll need the assistance of Advanced Win Utilities Free, with a WiFi hotspot creator that lets you specify the hotspot ID & security password and choose the connection you need. Merely some clicks, you can share your internet connections wirelessly. You can also have a clear view of the net connection info, the operations performed, the configurations changed as well as the working status.

Record Keystrokes

This invisible keylogger surveillance tool tracks all of the keystrokes typed on the computer in invisible mode. It enables you to look at each single keystroke typed, chat discussions, mail messages, names of printed files and check out the websites surfed and so on while you are away. It is possible to use it to monitor office staff to make sure that they are using company’s resources as supposed; monitor online activities of children to keep them safe and not to mention monitor your spouse.

Monitor Files/Folders/Apps

Advanced Win Utilities Free is really a free file monitor application intended to keep track of your files or folders. It provides each file that is being modified, created, or removed to notify the users. This function comes handy if you monitor database servers as well as application log files. Now, you’ll be able to promptly detect storage subsystem problems, unanticipated steep rise in disk consumption as well as proliferating files and folders in storage servers.

Free File Splitter Joiner

If you have a big file which needs to be delivered over the net to your pals, manager, families, or stored on external devices which are smaller in size, Advanced Win Utilities won’t disappoint you. The built-in free file splitter joiner can split sizeable data including audio, video, document, graphic, compressed files like RAR and ZIP, etc. You can defined the size of the chunks before splitting to store them on DVD/CD or USB sticks, and afterwards join them to recreate the original file.

Resource Extractor

Sometimes you may find convenient resources in EXE/DLL files. The resources could possibly be icons, sound clips, AVI videos and some other small elements which could be used in your websites, cartoon, PowerPoint presentation, etc. Advanced Win Utilities Free comes with a resource extractor to extract aforesaid resources from any executable and DLL files. It might output the icons of all sizes so that you don’t have to pay for the icons. It is easy to scan the System 32 directory for the resources. It features a Windows explorer-like user interface and you’re able to clearly see the files and related information in a file tree.

Computer Skill Development

Computer skill development is very vital for everyone in the modern world! It’s all about getting properly equipped in the use of PCs, laptops and other related devices. It involves intensive training on various aspects of computer operations. It’s indeed very important for everybody that wants to scale greater heights in his or her endeavors.

Computer skill development focuses on two major areas. They include hardware training and software training. The hardware aspect involves all kinds of training on several parts that make up a PC or laptop. Among such parts include monitor, hard disk, CPU, memory, motherboard, mouse, CD/DVD ROM, USB ports, LAN ports, and a lot more. Having a working knowledge of these parts helps the individual to know how to use the computer machine very well.

On the other hand, the software aspect involves regular training on diverse kinds of applications or programs. Among the basic programs that must be mastered include Windows packages, office programs and graphic design programs. These basic programs make the system to be functional. One must learn how to use them properly. There’s no way to operate the computer without developing quality skills on the use of the basic programs. You can’t use your system except you learn how to use the programs. Some of the programs are pre-installed in most PCs and laptops before they are sold. Others are later installed after the systems are bought.

Aside from the basic software programs, there are still other numerous applications that are used for system skill development. They showcase in a variety of types. Some of the applications are designed to help businesses and companies. Some of them are meant for enhancing customer relationship in various companies. There are also unique applications meant for fun. There are also others meant for securing PCs and laptops. Among them include different kinds of anti-virus programs.

Meanwhile, system skill development also involves special training on computer operations, repairs and maintenance. It also involves internet training, web design, web hosting and other aspects that relate to information technology.

In all, computer skill development can be offered in a variety of ways. There are firms that offer quality training online. There are also others that have training centers across the cities. Several unique courses are usually offered during the training. There are also practical tests and examinations involved. Successful candidates end up receiving the right certifications at the end of the training.