Monthly Archives: June 2013

How to use Search now with Bing in Windows 8.1

The Bing App

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Some persons have been asking where is it? Well, with Windows 8.1 you don’t need a dedicated app anymore as Bing search as been infused throughout Windows 8.1. Lets take a look.

In Windows 8

In Windows 8, you launched the tradition Bing app from the Start Screen and did your typical searching.

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Here is an example

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Here is a search for my favourite artiste of all time, ‘Michael Jackson’

In Windows 8.1

Press Windows key + S or point your mouse to the right hand corner and click the Search charm.

Bing Search

Enter your search query.

Bing Search 1

Not only will you get local results, but also live results using Bing Search. If you want more detailed results, just click the magnifier icon in the search field.

Bing Search 2

This will take you to a full page with results for what’s on your system in addition to news and information from the web.

Bing Search 3

Bing Search is really powerful and built right into the desktop. Providing a quicker, accessible and more relevant way to get results not only locally but also on the web. Nicely done!

Resources

How to use Search in Windows 8

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How to enable or disable Slide Show Lock Screen in Windows 8.1

When I first started using Windows 8 during the early previews in 2011, I said to myself why didn’t Microsoft make the lock screen a slideshow of your wallpapers or photo library? Your wish is my command, you can now do that in Windows 8.1. Lets take a look at setting it up, of course, some persons might not want this feature, but its a great fun functionality that is especially great on Tablets if you want to setup a digital photo frame.

Press Windows key + i on your keyboard or place the mouse pointer in the right hand corner of the Windows 8 screen and click Settings > then ‘Change PC Settings’

Lockscreen

Click Lock Screen under Top settings

Slide Show 1

Drag the knob to the right under Play a slide show on the lock screen to enable it.

Slide Show 2

You can let Windows choose pictures from your Pictures folder or select a specific folder. I personally have set aside a specific folder, since I might not want everyone passing my computer to see every photo I have stored in my library. To do this, click Add a folder

Slide Show 3

Select the folder if its listed or Click Go up to browse to where the folder is listed.

Slide Show 4

Once you have viewed your folder, click Choose this folder

Slide Show 4a

Click OK

Thats it, your Slide Show is now setup. See below:

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Picture 1

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Picture 2

IMG_1803

Picture 3

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How to find all your Microsoft Office apps and other programs in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1

Windows 8 focuses on providing a clean and simple user experience. When you install apps or upgrade from a previous version of Windows, Windows 8 will hide some of your least used apps. As an example, if you install Microsoft Office, you might not see all the modules such as Word, Excel or PowerPoint on the Start Screen. To find them, do the following:

In Windows 8

Go to the Start Screen and press Windows key + Z or Right click anywhere in the Start Screen interface.

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This will bring up the All Apps app bar. Hit Enter or click the All apps button.

In Windows 8.1

Go to the Start Screen and move your mouse. This will bring up the new All apps tip button. Click it and you will be taken to the All Apps view.

Start Tip All Apps

Look for the Microsoft Office group or any other application you wish to pin to the Start screen..

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In Windows 8, when you are in the All Apps view, simply right click the desired app and click Pin to Start. Do this for each app you want to pin.

In Windows 8.1

Instead of pinning each app one at a time, in Windows 8.1 you can pin multiple apps at the same time.

Start Tip All Apps 2

In All App view, simply right click on each app you want to pin, then simply click Pin to Start.

Thats it!

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How to access Colors and Accents in Windows 8.1

In the initial release of Windows 8, you accessed the Colors and Accents features through PC Settings under Personalize (see below).

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In Windows 8.1, Microsoft has now moved this setting to Charm bar. To access it, make sure you are in the Start Screen interface.

Accent 1

Press Windows key + C and click Settings or place your mouse pointer in the right hand corner and click Settings.

Accent 2

Click Personalize. (Note), if you do this from the Desktop, you will taking to the Desktop personalization options. So make sure you are at the Start Screen.

Accent 3

Choose your Background art, which are now animated. Then select a colour from the ‘Background color’ palette and then select your accent color which will be applied to the animated object, thats it. See example below:

Accent 4

 

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How to boot directly to your desktop in Windows 8.1

If you are running Windows 8.1, one of the anticipated improvements is the ability to boot directly to the Windows desktop instead of the Start screen. Here is how you do it.

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Right click the Windows Taskbar and click Properties.

Activate Change Settings

Go to the Navigation tab, under the Start Screen heading, check off the options

  • Go to the desktop instead of the Start when I sign in.

Click Apply and OK

In future you will automatically be taken to your desktop.

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How to activate Windows 8.1

Windows 8.1 makes activating Windows 8 the most seamless experience yet. You don’t even have to manually do anything the minute it detects an active Internet connection. I was so impressed with even on my slow GPRS connection. Activating Windows 8.1 affords certain benefits, such as the ability to enable unique features native to this release, example:

  • Show my desktop background on Start
  • Search everywhere instead of just my apps when I search from the Apps view

So lets activate Windows 8.1 (remember, if you have active Internet Connection, Windows 8 likely already done this for you). But if you are located somewhere where there is not Internet, then you can use the following procedures.

1. Press Windows key + I on your keyboard or activate the Settings Charm bar by pointing the mouse pointer in the right hand corner and click Settings ‘gear’ icon.

Activate Change Settings 2 Click the Change PC settings menu

Activate Change Settings 3

Under PC settings, click Activate Windows

Activate Change Settings 4

Click the option that best suits you.

Resources:

How to Activate Windows 8

 

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How to prepare your PC to test Windows 8.1 Preview

With the release of the Windows 8.1 Preview a lot of early adopters and cutting edge enthusiast (such as yours truly) are itching to test drive and see what’s new. I personally am looking forward to the new Start Tip landmark and better integration between the Desktop App and the Start Screen. Regardless of all of this, you want to approach testing Windows 8.1 safely, remember, it is still pre-release software. You do not want to install on a production system. Personally, I will be doing all my 8.1 evaluations in a virtual machines, but you can also use a partition and dual boot with an existing version of Windows such as Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8 to experience the full performance of running on physical hardware.

It has come light that testing the Windows 8.1 preview will not be as straightforward and will involve some prerequisites.

Do not install it on a production machine or boot drive.

Microsoft Senior Product Marketing Manager Michael Niehaus reiterated that message in the RT in the Enterprise session on Tuesday. When the 8.1 preview is available, Windows 8 and Windows RT users will receive a Windows Update notification. That update will trigger the new bits to show up in the Windows Store, where potential testers will be able to read the description and choose whether or not to install.

Once the final versions of Windows 8.1 are available, after their release to manufacturing, those who have downloaded the preview will get the same Windows Update plus Windows Store notification. While their data and accounts will be preserved if and when they choose to install the free, final 8.1 release, all their apps must be reinstalled, Niehaus said.

Even if testers opt instead to roll their devices back to Windows 8 after installing the preview bits, they still will have to reinstall their apps once they move to the RTM version of Windows 8.1.

Windows 8 users who do not install the preview build and opt instead to go straight from Windows 8/Windows RT to Windows 8.1 will not have to reinstall their apps. All settings, data and apps will carry over, a spokesperson said when I asked. Users will be able to decide when and if they want to move from Windows 8 and Windows RT to the 8.1 versions, officials stressed.

Source:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-10805_3-57587794-75/how-windows-8.1-upgrades-will-get-to-you/

How to prepare:

Backup your system before!

http://www.notebooks.com/2009/10/24/how-to-backup-your-installation-of-windows-7/

Check out the following article by Microsoft MVP JW Stuart about how to backup a Windows XP installation here using Acronis True Image here

Another solution you can use for backing up Windows XP is Easeus To Do Backup, JW Stuart also has an article about it here

These same principles should work for persons running Windows Vista.

If you are running editions such as Windows Vista Business, Enterprise or Ultimate editions, you can use the built in Complete PC Backup of your Vista installation. This can be very handy in case your Windows 8 installation fails. For instructions about how to use Complete PC Backup, see the following article here. Of course, you will need an external hard disk for this task.

Create a partition:

http://notebooks.com/2011/02/25/how-to-create-a-simple-partition-in-windows-7-quick-tip/

Dual boot:

See instructions for dual booting based on installing the Windows 8 Previews, same principles will work for the Windows 8.1 preview:

How to dual boot Windows XP and Windows 8

How to dual boot Windows Vista/7 and Windows 8

Use Virtual Machine software:

This is recommended if you have a powerful enough processor and lots of memory.

You can use alternatives such as Oracle VirtualBox or VMWare Player.

https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads

VMware Player;

http://downloads.vmware.com/d/details/player_401/dGpkYnRwd3didGRwQA==

If you are running Windows 8 Pro on a computer with SLAT support Second Layer Address Translation, you can use the built in Hyper-V that comes with Windows 8 Pro edition.

Will update this article with relevant content.

 

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