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November 25, 2013

Windows 8.1

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There are a slew of reasons to upgrade to Windows 8.1. The update introduces many useful tools while fixing some of Microsoft’s more unpopular design choices Downloading the update is almost a no-brainer (It can be found in the store), after all it’s free, and enhances the experience. However, before downloading and installing the upgrade, consult with your I.T strategy partner (Digux) and work with them to make sure all of your software applications and drivers are compatible. For people who are on previous versions of Windows who skipped Windows 8, the new OS deserves a look especially after the modern UI has been made friendlier and cloud integration enhanced. Let’s take a look at some of Windows 8.1 new enhancements:

Facebook App:
When you upgrade to Windows 8.1 you’ll be able to run the official Facebook app for Windows which provides a native experience for PCs. The app is fast and fluid, and the interface encourages the end user to explore.

Better SkyDrive Integration:
Microsoft has made SkyDrive the default place to save new documents, and improved the technology on the back end to ensure our computers see everything as local files which improves searching and the overall experience. SkyDrive is awesome because you can access files anywhere, they’re shareable, and they don’t take up hard-drive space on your devices.

Supercharged Searching:
Just start typing from the Start Screen and you can find settings, content, apps, and information on the web. Even more awesome, we automatically have access to Smart Search which is powered by Bing. Now if you search for a subject such as Egypt it will result in what’s called a “Search Hero” which organizes everything into a visually-driven page with basic facts, photos, maps, and links.

Much Improved Multi-Monitor Support:
To improve productivity and screen real-estate most of us have setup more than one monitor. Some of us even have 3 or 4 monitors depending on our job role. Windows 8.1 enables us to open multiple Store apps and move them around on our monitors. This is a much improved experience for non-touch desktop users.

Snap Feature Improved:
The Snap feature now allows end users to have multiple Store apps open on one screen with the ability to re-size them to the width of your preference. For example, you can have Email, Skype, IE, and the Weather Store apps all open and “Snapped” beside each other all at the same time.

Summary:
In Short, the 8.1 improvements will enhance your Windows 8 experience. Some additional insight to the OS is that it actually takes up less storage (8-15% less), has more control around re-sizing the tile icons, automatically updates the Store apps, allows you to have the same background image on your start screen as your wallpaper, and now you can boot directly into the desktop mode. I’m sure their is many more features beyond what we dove into today. None the less, thanks again for being a loyal reader of our Predictably Better newsletter. We’ll be back next month! Happy Holidays!

Schott
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