Archive for the 'Windows 8' Category


First look Windows 8.1

The first look at service pack 1†for Windows 8 (code named Blue) shows a number of upgrades, changes to visual interface, introduction of the Start button into Windows 8, and some hefty changes to the search feature from the tiled interface.

The video shows Jensen Harris from the Windows Team demonstrating the new features and upgrades on a tablet. This would be the main interface for tablet users, but there is no reason why the modern interface cannot be as useful and popular on a desktop and laptop. You can switch between the standard or desktop view and the modern tiled interface easily.

There’s some really neat features for professionals and business users. Miracast (WiFi Display) will allow the image or video playing on an iphone, laptop or tablet to be displayed onto a Miracast enabled monitor or TV without cables or even a wifi connection to the device. Imagine the applications for this seamless technology, though at this time all I can find are LG TV’s†and some Lenovo products with this capability built-in.

Tap-to-Pair Printing is another next generation technology using Near Field Communication or NFC tags. I was not able to find many NFC enabled printers or an answer to how near the near field must be to connect successfully from phone to printer for example. Windows 8.1 will also offer compatibility for printers with Wi-Fi Direct capabilities, which bypasses the need for a wifi access point.

Internet Explorer 11 will be rich with HTML 5 and say goodbye to Java’s security issues eventually. 3D images will be displayed natively in IE11.

For those of you awaiting the return of the Windows 8 start button it’s there at around the 2:13 mark, but not spoken about by the presenter. Remember to uninstall StartisBack start button if you have this installed before the service pack upgrade.

For customers in Perth, WA, contact us for a Windows 8 installation, data transfers, email setup with calendar, contacts and mail sync across devices.




Where’s the start menu in Windows 8 gone?



The missing orb and search box in the lower left of the taskbar is like a gaping hole to many judging by the feedback we’ve been getting about Windows 8.

I find Modern Start UI and search affects workflow, when working in the desktop mode of Windows 8. StartisBack, a program that does not use Windows 7 code and install very nicely into Windows 8, restores all the now familiar features of the start menu.

When you first install StartisBack it lets you tweak the settings, I choose to enable the following settings to keep some important Windows 8 features of the UI.




Startisback offers a try option for 30 days and is $3 to buy. As always with 3rd party programs use at your own risk. I am using (testing) it without any problems and keep you informed here or via twitter.



Fast boot times on Windows 8


With Windows 8 on the not so distant horizon we are starting to see trickles of information about this much anticipated operating system with an emphasis on delivering what users want, in the tradition of Windows 7.

One of these features is improvements to the boot time from cold start. Data shows that a greater number of users turn off a PC or laptop rather than send it to sleep and load time is one of the holy grails of new designs and improvements to operating systems and software. Microsoft is reporting improved boot times between 30% and 70% over Windows 7. You can see in the video the Microsoft program manager holding the HP Elitebook is booting Windows 8 with a solid state drive (SSD) with pretty startling results.†

Microsoft teams have worked closely together to change the way Windows shuts down and starts up.† The record boot times are the result of new methods to shut down the session kernel with multi-phase resume capability relevant to multi-core systems particularly with Intelís second generation Sandy Bridge Quad Core processors.

This form of hibernation does not require full system initialisation at start up but full system hibernation (waking computer from S3 level sleep) will also benefit with fast boot times.

More to come on Windows 8!