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Mark writes about Microsoft Windows, computer topics, and digital photography.

May 222014
 

The linked review is very thorough but the 3 minute faux commercial is wonderful. Hard to believe Pogue is known as an “Apple fanboy.”

Smart, Versatile Surface Pro 3 Can Do It All — Maybe Even Lift the Windows 8 Curse by David Pogue

If this marvel of engineering doesn’t lift the Microsoft hardware curse, I don’t know what its designers are supposed to do. Maybe join a self-help group with Cassandra and Sisyphus.

Smart, Versatile Surface Pro 3 Can Do It All — Maybe Even Lift the Windows 8 Curse

 Posted by at 1:52 pm
May 222014
 

Links below to a series of tutorials from Microsoft which you may find useful for learning more about Windows 8.1

Getting started tutorials for Windows – Microsoft Windows

New to Windows 8.1 or Windows RT 8.1?

You’re at the right place. Whether you’re brand new to Windows 8.1 or Windows RT 8.1, or just want a refresher, these 10 tutorials will show you the basics.

Getting started tutorials for Windows – Microsoft Windows

Using touch gestures

If you have a computer with a touchscreen, you might find that gestures (motions that you make with one or two fingers) are easier to use than a mouse, pen, or keyboard.

Using touch gestures

Keyboard shortcuts – Microsoft Windows Help

Keyboard shortcuts are combinations of two or more keys that you can use to perform a task that would typically require a mouse or other pointing device. Keyboard shortcuts can make it easier to work with your PC, saving you time and effort as you work with Windows and other apps. …

Keyboard shortcuts – Microsoft Windows Help

Browsing the web – Microsoft Windows

Getting started with Internet Explorer 11

Internet Explorer 11 is included in your Windows 8.1 or Windows RT 8.1 update. Internet Explorer makes it easier to get where you want to go on the web, and helps you see amazing content at its best. By learning some common gestures and tricks, you’ll be able to comfortably use your new browser and get the most out of your favorite sites.

Browsing the web – Microsoft Windows

 Posted by at 1:26 pm
May 222014
 

Today, the Bing photo of the day is an animation / video of the Eye in London turning. You can see the people inside moving. The desktop photo of the day is actually a pretty composition (as always, in my opinion). Often, they are the same photo and if the .com photo is animated, the same composition appears static on the desktop.

Bing animated photo of the London Eye
Photo of the day at www.bing.com (above)

Bing static photo of the London Eye
Photo of the day from Bing desktop software (above)

 Posted by at 9:56 am
May 212014
 

The killer feature: Click the top of the pen old-school and OneNote launches automagically. (Click twice for a screen capture.)

Surface Pro 3: thinner, lighter, more flexible | ZDNet by Ed Bott

This thing is ridiculously light. The only onstage prop at today’s event was an old-school mechanical scale (shown in the photo above). With the Type Cover and included pen, the Surface Pro 3 is still 180 grams (about 6.5 ounces) lighter than the 13-inch MacBook Air.

Surface Pro 3: thinner, lighter, more flexible | ZDNet

Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Full Technical Specifications by Bogdan Popa

Here are the full technical specs of the new Surface Pro 3, as provided by Microsoft

Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Full Technical Specifications

Microsoft News | Ben ‘the PC Guy’ Gives a Hands-on Tour of the Surface Pro by Suril Amin

Microsoft’s top evangelist Ben “The PC Guy” Rudolph gave a hands on tour of the Surface Pro 3.

Microsoft News | Ben ‘the PC Guy’ Gives a Hands-on Tour of the Surface Pro

 Posted by at 9:54 am
Apr 142014
 

Two more detailed articles on the changes coming in Windows Phone 8.1. The second link includes video demos and many screenshots.

Windows Phone 8.1 Review | Windows Phone content from Paul Thurrott’s SuperSite for Windows

Pay no attention to the version number: Windows Phone 8.1 is a major upgrade for Microsoft’s smart phone platform, one that provides improvements virtually everywhere.

Windows Phone 8.1 Review | Windows Phone content from Paul Thurrott’s SuperSite for Windows

Windows Phone 8.1 review: A magnificent smartphone platform | Ars Technica by Peter Bright

Windows Phone 8.1, therefore, has a lot of work to do. It needs to take further steps along the path toward Microsoft’s vision of a unified operating system. It needs to work better on a wider range of hardware to both strengthen its position at the low end and give it a chance of making inroads at the high end. It needs to also offer features: it needs to do things to get people talking about the platform while attracting both users and developers.

Remarkably, Windows Phone 8.1 delivers on all fronts.

Windows Phone 8.1 review: A magnificent smartphone platform | Ars Technica

 Posted by at 10:31 pm
Apr 142014
 

Download Windows 8.1 Update Power User Guide for Business from Official Microsoft Download Center

This 20 pages brochure-type guide is designed for end-users who want to learn more about the advanced features of Windows 8.1, such as Taskbar customization, Task Manager, Internet Explorer 11, Mobility Center, Windows To Go, Miracast, OneDrive for Business, and File Explorer. Power users will enjoy learning about how they can get the most out of their Windows 8.1 devices.

Download Windows 8.1 Update Power User Guide for Business from Official Microsoft Download Center

 Posted by at 7:27 am
Apr 042014
 

Happy Birthday, Microsoft, from your birthplace. How come you don’t visit anymore?

Microsoft Today Celebrates Its 39th Anniversary

Front row (left to right): Bill Gates, Andrea Lewis, Marla Wood, and Paul Allen. Middle row: Bob O'Rear, Bob Greenberg, Marc McDonald, and Gordon Letwin. Back row: Steve Wood, Bob Wallace, and Jim Lane Enlarge pictureFront row (left to right): Bill Gates, Andrea Lewis, Marla Wood, and Paul Allen. Middle row: Bob O’Rear, Bob Greenberg, Marc McDonald, and Gordon Letwin. Back row: Steve Wood, Bob Wallace, and Jim Lane

The Redmond-based software giant Microsoft today turns 39, as Bill Gates and Paul Allen officially founded the empire that brought us the number one desktop operating system in the world on April 4, 1975.

Microsoft Today Celebrates Its 39th Anniversary

History of Microsoft – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Microsoft is a multinational computer technology corporation. The history of Microsoft began on April 4, 1975, when it was founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen in Albuquerque.[1]

History of Microsoft – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

At the time, I was in Charlottesville, Virginia, nine years away from moving to Albuquerque.

 Posted by at 9:30 am
Apr 042014
 

Nicely succinct overview of the major changes coming 4/8.

8 Things You Need to Know About Windows 8.1 Update | PCMag.com By Michael Muchmore, April 2, 2014

the primary motivation behind this Update is to address the feedback from mouse pushers and clickers, in particular.

8 Things You Need to Know About Windows 8.1 Update | PCMag.com

 Posted by at 9:20 am
Apr 032014
 

Just as Windows 8.1 on desktops and tablets has a new update, so to does Windows Phone 8, upgrading to 8.1 soon. There are lots of cool features here. As a Verizon user, I don’t expect to see it for a couple of months.

Windows Phone 8.1 update: everything you need to know – Nokia Conversations

Starting this summer, any Lumia device currently running Windows Phone 8 will receive an over-the-air update, receiving these great new features:

Windows Phone 8.1 update: everything you need to know – Nokia Conversations

▶ Introducing Windows Phone 8.1 – YouTube [16:45 video] This video shows perhaps too much about Cortana, a digital personal assistant, but other features get more coverage halfway through.

Cortana (yes!) and Many, Many Other Great Features coming in Windows Phone 8.1

 Posted by at 2:47 pm
Apr 032014
 

A new update will install automagically on computers that already have Windows 8.1 (itself an update from October ‘13 to Windows 8, released October ‘12). This consists of lots of tweaks intended to make Windows 8.1 easier for people who don’t use touchscreens.

The first link leads to a short slideshow, the second to a video, and the third link leads to a thorough discussion plus one person’s opinion.

  1. Deep inside Windows 8.1’s spring update: New changes in pictures | PCWorld by Brad Chacos Mar 11, 2014 [14 slides]
  2. Introducing the Windows 8.1 Update – YouTube [3:27 video] Apr 2, 2014
  3. Windows 8.1 Update 1 Review | Windows 8 content from Paul Thurrott’s SuperSite for Windows A step forward, Apr 2, 2014 by Paul Thurrott
 Posted by at 9:38 am