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Windows 8.1

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The Windows 8.1 Bing Finance App

The Windows 8.1 Bing Finance app doesn’t have any glaring usability problems. Well, okay, you can’t pinch to make the text look bigger. It’s heavy on the U.S. stock exchanges and very light outside the [more…]

Two New Metro Bing Apps in Windows 8.1

If you right-click or swipe on the main screen of the Windows 8.1 Metro Bing Food & Drink app, you see an array of icons like the one shown. [more…]

How to Search the Windows Store for Games

Want to see what games will run on the Metro tiled side of Windows 8.1? Head to the Windows Store. The Windows Store offers tons of games. Many of them, including some free ones, are well worth trying. [more…]

The Cut the Rope Game App for Windows 8.1

Everybody knows Angry Birds. The Cut the Rope game app for Windows 8.1 isn’t Angry Birds. The physics is a little more complex, and the variations are trickier. That said, it’s every bit as addictive as [more…]

The Pirates Love Daisies Game App for Windows 8.1

A big Microsoft score for the Windows 8.1 platform and an early port to HTML5, Pirates Love Daisies is a thoroughly modern rendition of a class of games called Tower Defense. [more…]

The Windows 8.1 Sudoku Game

If you’ve ever tried to finish a really hard Sudoku, you know it can be quite a challenge. The Windows 8.1 Sudoku game starts by asking whether you want an Easy, Normal, or Hard game. [more…]

The Birzzle Game App for Windows 8.1

Birzzle is an unlikely name, but it’s a fascinating free game that works great on the Windows 8.1 platform. Birzzle, made by a Korean company, started out on the iPad in 2011. But it carries across nicely [more…]

Prevent Windows 8.1 from Showing the Charms and Running Apps Bars

Windows 8.1 finally (finally!) lets you tone down Windows’ incessant flittering of bars and apps. Specifically, you can tell Windows to stop flashing the Running Apps bar and the Charms bar when you hover [more…]

Aero Snap in Windows 8.1

Windows 8.1, like Windows 7, includes several “gesture” features that can save you a lot of time. Foremost among them is Aero Snap, a Windows 8.1 feature that’s been inherited from Windows 7 and works [more…]

How to Share Folders in the Windows 8.1 Public Folder

Microsoft wants you to share files by buying space on SkyDrive, so it goes to great lengths to hide the Windows 8.1 Public folders. But they’re there. Windows 8.1 supports two very different ways for sharing [more…]

Windows 8.1's Power Settings and Sleep

Windows 8.1 has been designed so that it doesn’t need to be turned off. That’s a bit of an overstatement. Sometimes you have to re-start your computer to let patches kick in. Sometimes you’re going to [more…]

How to Set Color Schemes on the Windows 8.1 Desktop

Windows 8.1 ships with 16 prebuilt designer color schemes. “Automatic” (which has a propensity to sky blue) is the scheme of choice. You can change to a different designer scheme or invent one all your [more…]

How to Pick a Background for Your Windows 8.1 Desktop

There’s nothing particularly magical about the Windows 8.1 desktop background. In fact, Windows 8.1 can put any picture on your desktop — big one, little one, ugly one — even a picture stolen straight [more…]

Activating and Adjusting ClearType in Windows 8.1

In Windows 8.1, Microsoft uses ClearType on the desktop but not on the tiled Metro Start screen, the Charms bar, or in any of the tiled Metro apps, whether they’re made by Microsoft or not. It isn't available [more…]

The Windows 8.1 Taskbar

The Windows 8.1 taskbar is a key tool for anyone who uses the desktop. In fact, with the demise of the old Start menu, the taskbar and shortcut icons on the desktop are your only ways of getting at programs [more…]

How to Change the Windows 8.1 Taskbar

The taskbar rates as one of the few parts of Windows 8.1 that are highly malleable. You can modify it until the cows come home: [more…]

Drop the Background from the Windows 8.1 Metro Start Screen

In Windows 8.1, Start doesn’t have cascading menus: All the tiles sit on the Metro Start screen, and you have to scroll to find them. What are those swirly designer backgrounds and squiggly things [more…]

Installing New Windows 8.1 Programs

When you install a new program in Windows 8.1, the installer throws a bunch of tiles up on the All Apps screen. They’re disjointed and unorganized and can be a massive pain to sort through. [more…]

Beware of "Microsoft Tech Support" Scams

Con artists all over the world are bilking big bucks out of unsuspecting Microsoft customers — and they're duping some savvy Windows users in the process. [more…]

A Few Tips for Using TweetDeck for Windows 8.1

While Windows 8.1 has a Twitter client built into it, you can use a Twitter client like TweetDeck on your old-fashioned desktop for high-volume tweeting. There are lots of pros and cons of various Twitter [more…]

What’s Wrong with Windows Automatic Update?

If you’re setting up a system for Dear Aunt Belvedere who won’t look at anything on the web, okay, set her for Windows Automatic Update. But for anybody savvy enough to be reading these words, don’t do [more…]

Making the Move from Outlook to Gmail

Why should you consider using Gmail instead of Outlook or some other solution? For starters, Gmail's spam filtering is second to none. Its interface is also remarkably easy to use. Where searching Outlook [more…]

Going to the Windows 8.1 Start Screen

The Start screen in Windows 8.1 takes you to apps and programs. You go to the Start screen to find and start an app, and you can also start programs from there if you know how to pin programs to the Start [more…]

Switching between Open Apps in Windows 8.1

Windows 8.1 offers several ways to switch from one open app to another. Use your mouse, the app switcher, key combinations, or the Windows key to get to another app. [more…]

Choosing and Using Windows 8.1 Passwords

Windows 8.1 lets you assign passwords to help keep your information more safe and secure. Laptop users should always create a password. Windows 8.1 offers two types of passwords: [more…]

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