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Forum Thread: Microsoft needs your help to nail the Windows 8.1 update

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mogs Microsoft needs your help to nail the Windows 8.1 update
Expert Contributor 31st Oct, 2013 16:57
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Last edited on 31st Oct, 2013 23:27

OCTOBER 31, 2013
Microsoft needs your help to nail the Windows 8.1 update 0xc1900101 Blue Screens
Two weeks into a vexing bug, people trying to upgrade to Windows 8.1 are still reporting Blue Screens

By Woody Leonhard | InfoWorld Follow @woodyleonhard

If you've been having trouble upgrading from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1, and are encountering Blue Screens marked 0xc1900101 - 0x40017 or 0xC1900101-0x20017, 0xC1900101-0x40019 or 0xc1900101 - 0x30018, there may be a fix for your problems. But if none of the remedies offered here get you upgraded, please head to the Microsoft Answers forum and post details about your configuration. Because after two weeks of trying, Microsoft still hasn't figured out what's causing the problem, and your input may help.

Read further at :-

http://www.infoworld.com/t/microsoft-windows/micro...


October 31st, 2013, 22:08 GMT · By Bogdan Popa
Microsoft Still Struggling to Fix Windows 8.1 Installation Errors

Windows 8.1 was officially launched on October 17 in the Windows Store and although it was supposed to be available to all users, some are still experiencing lots of problems when trying to install it.

One of the main issues experienced by users trying to update is an error displayed just after Windows 8.1 displays the setup message reading “Getting devices ready.”

According to users who posted on Microsoft’s Community forums, the error shown on the screen seconds after that is the following:

“Couldn't update to Windows 8.1. Sorry, we couldn't complete the update to Windows 8.1. We've restored your previous version of Windows to this PC. 0xC1900101 - 0x40017.”

Users are suggesting all kinds of workarounds, but Microsoft is still looking into the issue right now, and no working solution has been found.

And still, if you’re feeling a bit lucky, you can try to disconnect USB devices, update drivers, remove security software (including firewalls) or install Windows 8.1 using the dedicated ISOs, as some people have apparently managed to get past the error and complete the setup this way.

http://news.softpedia.com/news/Microsoft-Still-Str...

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mogs RE: Microsoft needs your help to nail the Windows 8.1 update
Expert Contributor 2nd Nov, 2013 12:56
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Other Windows 8.1 issues

November 2nd, 2013, 08:59 GMT · By Bogdan Popa
How to Fix Windows 8.1 Slow Performance Issues

Windows 8.1 brings quite a lot of improvements, most of which are supposed to boost performance and make everything faster and more stable.

A number of users are complaining that this isn’t their case, as Windows 8.1 proves to be extremely slow on their computers, with Microsoft yet to address the problem with a workaround or a patch.

According to some posts on Microsoft’s Community forums, this is mostly happening on Lenovo laptops and the fastest way to deal with performance issues is to uninstall the “Intel Dynamic Platform and Thermal Framework” from the device manager.

In addition, you need to access the BIOS menu and in the “Configuration” screen, make sure you disable the DPIF option to turn it off completely until Microsoft comes up with a fully-working fix.
http://news.softpedia.com/news/How-to-Fix-Windows-...

November 2nd, 2013, 08:44 GMT · By Bogdan Popa
Blank Screen After Installing Windows 8.1

Soon after Microsoft launched Windows 8.1 on October 18, it has emerged that some users were experiencing issues after the installation process, with a blank black screen locking them out of the operating system.

While Microsoft has rolled out some instructions on how to fix this issue, it appears that users are still getting the same errors, with many complaining that no workaround is making things better until now.

A patch is yet to be released by Microsoft, but we’re received reports from our readers telling us that resetting the BIOS and updating the graphic drivers in safe mode could solve the problems.

A user on the Microsoft Community forums came out with a more complicated solution involving the removal of some files in the system32 folder, but we wouldn’t really recommend beginners to go that far.

In case you’ve found a working solution to this problem, make sure you post it in the comment box below and lend a helping hand to the community still getting a blank screen after installing Windows 8.1.
http://news.softpedia.com/news/Blank-Screen-After-...

November 2nd, 2013, 07:59 GMT · By Bogdan Popa
Windows 8.1 Issues: Limited or No Wi-Fi Connection After Updating

Windows 8.1 has been around for about half a month, but users keep finding issues affecting the way they work on their newly-updated computers.

This time, many are complaining that Wi-Fi connections are dropping or are showing a limited Internet connectivity sign in the System Tray, making it practically impossible to browse the web.

Here’s what one of the affected users is writing on Microsoft’s Community forums:

“When I troubleshoot the problem using the system tool it is always the gateway that is faulty. I have uninstalled/reinstalled the device drivers several times, installed the newest drivers directly from Intel, restarted the computer, etc. I can restore connectivity by turning WiFi off then back on, but the connection will drop at what seems to be random intervals.”

The issue doesn’t seem to be related to specific hardware configurations, but we’ve received reports that updating the Wi-Fi and router drivers could solve the issues.

http://news.softpedia.com/news/Windows-8-1-Issues-...

November 2nd, 2013, 08:21 GMT · By Bogdan Popa
Microsoft to Launch Windows 8.1 Back-up Media on November 15

Microsoft will launch a Windows 8.1 back-up media disc later this month, in an attempt to provide users with an easy way to repair a broken down operating system that doesn’t boot anymore.

The disc is already listed on Newegg’s website and is priced at $14.99 (€11.5), with the page stating that sales are expected to begin on November 15.

Microsoft hasn’t issued any official statements on this, but such a product would really come in handy to those installing Windows 8.1 from the Store and encountering issues with the operating system.

Windows 8.1 is currently being offered free of charge to all Windows 8 adopters via a store update, while everyone else needs to pay at least $119.99 (€90) to purchase a core license for a stand-alone copy of the operating system.

http://news.softpedia.com/news/Microsoft-to-Launch...

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mogs RE: Microsoft needs your help to nail the Windows 8.1 update
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November 2nd, 2013, 15:00 GMT · By Bogdan Popa
VLC for Windows 8.1 Is a Fake App

VideoLAN is getting ready to launch the final version of their Windows 8 port of VLC, so developers around the world looking to earn some easy money have only a few days left to do it.

A new app called VLC for Windows 8.1 has landed in the store this morning, trying to trick people into believing that this is the official VLC app.

The only problem is that VideoLAN will offer their original app for free, while this one costs $9.99 (€7.5) and doesn’t seem to be providing too many features on Windows 8 and RT.

There’s only one screenshot published in the Windows Store and showing the way the app is supposed to play movies, but no other features are presented. Of course, there’s no trial version available, so the only way to use VLC for Windows 8.1 is to buy it.

As a recommendation, make sure you check twice before buying an app and if you’re still in doubt, drop us a line for more information on a specific software tool.

http://news.softpedia.com/news/VLC-for-Windows-8-1...


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mogs RE: Microsoft needs your help to nail the Windows 8.1 update
Expert Contributor 4th Nov, 2013 10:57
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November 4th, 2013, 01:01 GMT · By Bogdan Popa
Windows 8.1 Installation Error 0x80004005 Workarounds

Microsoft is yet to release stand-alone ISOs for the RTM bits of Windows 8.1, so your only option to update right now is to use the built-in Store link.

Lots of users, however, are provided with all kinds of errors, some of which block the installation process and restores the original Windows 8 configuration.

Windows 8.1 installation error 0x80004005 is one of the issues still causing headaches to many Windows 8 adopters, especially because Microsoft is yet to release a fix on this. The error shows up after the update is downloaded and the computer restarts for the first time.

Here’s what one of the affected users is writing:

“I have the same issue and went to far as to perform a clean install of Windows 8, apply all available Windows Updates and then tried to update to Windows 8.1 from the Store and am having this same issue in the same way I was having it before the clean install of Windows 8.”

Basically, the easiest way to fix this problem is to perform a clean install. Make sure you back up all your data, download the Windows 8.1 ISO and install the new operating system on an empty partition.

If you’re still planning to determine the cause of the issue, Dell’s support team is pointing users to an official Microsoft advisory claiming that the error occurs if “dynamic-link library files (.dll files) are not registered correctly or if there is a firewall between the computer and the Internet that does not allow HTTPS (SSL) connections.”

To fix this, launch a command prompt window with administrator privileges and run the following commands, one by one:

regsvr32 Softpub.dll
regsvr32 Wintrust.dll
regsvr32 Initpki.dll

Reboot your computer and try to install Windows 8.1 once again.

Of course, make sure you drop us a line in the comment box below if one of these workarounds solved the issues for you or in case you’ve found a new way to deal with the error.

http://news.softpedia.com/news/Windows-8-1-Install...

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mogs RE: Microsoft needs your help to nail the Windows 8.1 update
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November 4th, 2013, 00:01 GMT · By Bogdan Popa
Microsoft Confirms Mouse Lag Issues in Windows 8.1, Provides Workarounds

One of the main problems experienced by users after making the move to Windows 8.1 is a mouse lag issue reducing the gaming performance on the new operating system, with multiple popular titles said to be affected.

While Microsoft has remained completely tight-lipped on this until now, the company finally decided to provide more details on the problem and to confirm that a fix is on its way.

“While we don’t have a date yet for the release of a fix, we are working to get these issues resolved as quickly as possible. The ‘mouse lag’ issue is actually several different issues that could vary based on the game, input methods used, etc,” it said.

Redmond also goes on to say that mouse jitters, which usually means that the mouse cursor is jumping forward and back as you move it through a game, is happening because “Windows 8.1 handles games’ checks for the mouse status differently.”

On the other hand, if mouse acceleration settings and the measure mouse Polling Rate has a lower reporting frequency than expected, you’re recommended to check the game settings, as Windows 8.1 might have nothing to do with it. “If the game supports raw input from the mouse, enabling it may solve the issue,” Microsoft explains.

The company also provides a few workarounds for some of these scenarios, advising users to open the “Properties” settings of each process and check the “Disable display scaling on high DPI settings” option in the “Compatibility tab.”

In case you can’t left-click with an integrated pointing device immediately after pressing a key, Microsoft says that you should try toggling the “To help prevent the cursor from accidentally moving while you type, change the delay before clicks work” option in the Mouse & Touchpad PC settings screen to “No Delay.”

Additionally, switching process compatibility to Windows 8 might also come in handy, at least until Microsoft comes up with a fix.

http://news.softpedia.com/news/Microsoft-Confirms-...

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mogs RE: Microsoft needs your help to nail the Windows 8.1 update
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November 5th, 2013, 08:56 GMT · By Bogdan Popa
avast! Users Need to Upgrade to Version 2014 Before Installing Windows 8.1

avast! Antivirus is one of the security products that has already received support for Windows 8.1, but a number of compatibility issues is affecting older versions of the application.

AVAST Software has revealed that all users who want to install Windows 8.1 first need to upgrade to avast! 2014 and only then deploy Microsoft’s new operating system. Otherwise, Windows 8.1 will automatically disable the anti-virus due to a number of compatibility issues.

“Avast! 2014 has Windows 8.1 certification which ensures that it meets compatibility standards and performs well on the Windows platform. Older versions of avast! Antivirus do not carry that certification, so if you update to Windows 8.1, it will disable avast! and you will be unprotected,” the security vendor said in a short statement.

Windows 8.1 already comes with built-in anti-virus protection thanks to Windows Defender, but the application is automatically disabled once you install a third-party security product such as avast!.

http://news.softpedia.com/news/avast-Users-Need-to...

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mogs RE: Microsoft needs your help to nail the Windows 8.1 update
Expert Contributor 9th Nov, 2013 15:37
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November 9th, 2013, 07:11 GMT · By Bogdan Popa
Microsoft Rolls Out Patch to Fix Mouse Lag Bug in Windows 8.1

Today, Microsoft rolled out official patches to correct an issue in Windows 8.1 that's causing a terrible mouse lag in some games, with many users complaining that gaming becomes impossible after updating to the latest Windows version.

Microsoft previously confirmed the issue and recommended users to tweak the main executable file of the game in order to run it in compatibility mode, saying that some changes in Windows 8.1 messed up the mouse behavior in a number of applications.

"This issue occurs because Windows 8.1 introduced changes to mouse input processing for low latency interaction scenarios. Therefore, games respond to mouse inputs differently in Windows 8.1 than in previous versions of Windows," the company said in a statement earlier this month.

Now Microsoft has finally rolled out fully-working patches supposed to correct the issues on both 32- and 64-bit machines, with the company also revealing the name of some of the games affected by the mouse lag:

Call of Duty: Black Ops
Call of Duty: Black Ops - Multiplayer
Call of Duty: Black Ops II
Call of Duty: Black Ops II - Multiplayer
Call of Duty: Black Ops II - Zombies
Call of Duty: Ghosts - Multiplayer
Call of Duty: MW2
Call of Duty: MW2 - Multiplayer
Call of Duty: MW3
Call of Duty: MW3 - Multiplayer
Call of Duty: MW
Call of Duty: MW - Multiplayer
Counter Strike: Global Offensive
Counter Strike: Source
Deus Ex : Human Revolution
Deus Ex : Human Revolution Director's Cut
Hitman Absolution
Hitman Sniper Challenge
Half Life 2
Metro 2033
Portal
Tomb Raider

Surprisingly, Microsoft has decided to launch the fixes a bit earlier, even though this month's Patch Tuesday updates will be released next week. This could be an indication that many users have actually been affected by this issue, so make sure you download and install them too as soon as possible.

Download the mouse lag patch for Windows 8.1 32-bit

Download the mouse lag patch for Windows 8.1 64-bit

http://news.softpedia.com/news/Microsoft-Rolls-Out...

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mogs RE: Microsoft needs your help to nail the Windows 8.1 update
Expert Contributor 10th Nov, 2013 09:08
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November 10th, 2013, 07:54 GMT · By Bogdan Popa
Google Search Not Displayed Correctly in Windows 8.1

Another day, another issue found in the new Windows 8.1. This time, it turns out that the new operating system does not display Google search results links correctly, with users provided with a simple narrow column on the left side of the screen.

Jim Sessa, one of our readers, reported this problem a few days ago, but it turns out that it’s more of a widespread issue affecting many more Windows 8.1 adopters.

Microsoft’s Community forums are full of similar complaints, with no workaround found at the time of writing this article.

“After installing Win 8.1 my Google search results do not properly display. They appear as a narrow column on the left side of the screen. I have tried the ‘fix’ found on the internet, of unchecking Use Microsoft compatibility List, under Compatibility View and un-checked Use Software rendering,” one user explained.

Switching to other browsers might be the only solution for the moment, but Microsoft is most likely looking into the issue as we speak, so expect a patch anytime soon.

http://news.softpedia.com/news/Google-Search-Not-D...

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mogs RE: Microsoft needs your help to nail the Windows 8.1 update
Expert Contributor 10th Nov, 2013 14:41
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November 10th, 2013, 09:01 GMT · By Bogdan Popa
Windows 8.1 Pro x64 Boot Very Slow on Some Computers

Windows 8.1 is supposed to be the fastest Windows version to date, but it turns out that the new operating system is actually very slow on some machines.

Users are now complaining that Windows 8.1 boots and shuts down extremely slow, with the entire process taking more than 2 minutes, even though no modifications have been made to the default configuration/

This time, incompatible drivers and unsupported apps don’t seem to be the cause, as users who posted the bug on Microsoft’s Community forums claim they’ve tried all possible workarounds.

“I have updated all my drivers to Windows 8.1 compatible ones and still. I have checked via Samsung Magician and the drive is using AHCI mode on (Intel PCH) Sata 3 6Gb/s. I have tried restoring my UEFI to default settings and enabling Fast Boot but still?? On Windows 8 it would boot in 5 seconds...” one user wrote.

Performing a clean boot and a safe boot also make no difference, which could be an indication that the problem relies in the way the operating system handles the booting process.

“I have a ‘new’ HP Envy and the startup is fine but the shutdown takes about 4 minutes. Have run also run CCleaner and SuperAntispyware and the shutdown was fine for one time but then went back to the 4 minute shutdown. Also tried reinstalling a couple of the programs to see if that helped. Nothing,” another user added.

In some cases, updating the BIOS to the latest version and running a few system optimization applications might temporarily improve the boot time, but Redmond clearly needs to address this issue in future updates.

Microsoft is yet to release a comment on this, but the company is probably investigating the reports, which means that a fix could be released sometime in the coming weeks.

http://news.softpedia.com/news/Windows-8-1-Pro-x64...

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mogs RE: Microsoft needs your help to nail the Windows 8.1 update
Expert Contributor 13th Nov, 2013 19:10
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November 13th, 2013, 14:58 GMT · By Bogdan Popa
Microsoft Updates Flash Player on Windows 8.1

Microsoft announced the availability of a new security update for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 users, as the company has worked together with Adobe to fix flaws that could affect Internet Explorer 10 and 11.

Just like it’s the case of all the other updates released on Patch Tuesday, they are automatically delivered to all computers via Windows Update, so no user input is required.

“This update addresses the vulnerabilities in Adobe Flash Player by updating the affected Adobe Flash binaries contained within Internet Explorer 10 and Internet Explorer 11. Most customers have automatic updating enabled and will not need to take any action because this update will be downloaded and installed automatically,” Microsoft explained.

The new Flash Player is also available as a stand-alone version for those who prefer to keep Windows Update turned off, so download build number 11.9.900.152 if you’d like to install it manually.

http://news.softpedia.com/news/Microsoft-Updates-F...

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mogs RE: Microsoft needs your help to nail the Windows 8.1 update
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November 16th, 2013, 07:38 GMT · By Bogdan Popa
Microsoft Updates the Built-in Windows 8.1 Reading List App

Reading List is free of charge for all Windows 8.1 users
Reading List, one of the new apps that are exclusively available on Windows 8.1 devices, has received a new update this morning.

While no details have been provided on this new release, expect the app to include more bug fixes and performance improvements on both desktops and tablets.

Microsoft hasn’t talked too much about Reading List lately, but it’s clear that the company has been focused on fixing bugs and enhancing the overall experience of the app, so all users are recommended to get the new build as soon as possible.

Reading List is an application that gives users the possibility to save content they find online for later viewing, with dedicated options integrated right into the Share charms in Windows 8.1. The app can be then launched straight from the Start screen to view the content you save.

Overall, this is clearly a helpful addition to Windows 8.1, so download Reading List in case you haven’t done this already.
http://news.softpedia.com/news/Microsoft-Updates-t...

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mogs RE: Microsoft needs your help to nail the Windows 8.1 update
Expert Contributor 19th Nov, 2013 18:00
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November 19th, 2013, 15:34 GMT · By Bogdan Popa
How to Fix Broken Down “Change PC Settings” Option in Windows 8.1

Some of the users who installed Windows 8.1 from the Store are experiencing issues with the Modern version of the Control Panel, with the “Change PC Settings” link in the Charms bar apparently broken down after the update.

The same problem has been confirmed by users who turned to Microsoft’s Community forums, but Redmond is yet to release a workaround or at least provide more details on what’s causing the issues.

“After updating to windows 8.1 Change PC Settings link is broken. After clicking on it nothing is opening and landing into Start screen. I tried from Administrator account with no luck. I am unable to change the settings,” one user is complaining.

After trying several workarounds, one of the Windows 8.1 adopters affecting by a similar problem has discovered a command that apparently fixes the broken down “Chance PC Settings” and finally makes it work on both desktops and tablets.

In order to fix it, you need to launch a command prompt window by right-clicking the Start button and enter the following command:

CODE
powershell -ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register $Env:SystemRoot\ImmersiveControlPanel\AppxManifest .xml

No reboot is required and the Metro Control Panel should be working without any other issue.

As far as Windows 8.1 is concerned, Microsoft is still having lots of other glitches to fix, with some of them very likely to be patched in the coming weeks via performance and stability updates.

At the same time, the software giant continues work on what’s being called the Spring GDR Update, a large pack with fixes aimed at Windows 8.1 devices that’s expected to see daylight in early 2014.

There are no confirmed details as to when the GDR update could be released, but Microsoft could use it to address many of the bugs spotted in Windows 8.1, including the one we’ve told you about today.
http://news.softpedia.com/news/How-to-Fix-Broken-D...

November 19th, 2013, 13:23 GMT · By Bogdan Popa
Windows 8.1’s Mail App Gets Massive Update – Free Download

Microsoft has just released a large update for the Windows 8.1 Mail app, implementing not only bug fixes and performance improvements, but also several new options.

As you probably know, the Mail app has received a complete makeover in Windows 8.1, getting a new interface, as well as improved features and better support for touch-capable devices.

The update released today is supposed to make the whole experience with the app even better by implementing several new options on both desktop and tablet versions of Mail.

Starting with this new version, you can use the sweep tool to clean up your Outlook.com inbox and get a more organized account, as social updates and newsletters are now filed away automatically.

You can now drag and drop messages into filters, and select multiple emails at the same time by tapping on the adjacent checkboxes. What’s more, users are allowed to create automatic replies in case they are away and get info about the sender by tapping on their name.

Some of these features were already there in the Mail app, but given the fact that Microsoft included them in the release notes is probably a sign that the company has actually improved their performance. As a result, the overall email sending and reading experience should now be faster on both touchscreens and desktop computers.

The Mail app is pre-installed on all copies of Windows 8.1 and is available on Windows RT 8.1 as well, thus giving users the power to check their emails without closing the Modern UI.

At the same time, users who decided to move to Windows RT 8.1 are also provided with Outlook RT 2013, a desktop email client that’s available as part of the Office 2013 productivity suite. Still, as compared to the default Mail app, Outlook is only offered in the desktop side of the OS.

http://news.softpedia.com/news/Windows-8-1-s-Mail-...

November 19th, 2013, 13:13 GMT · By Bogdan PopaBLOG
Microsoft Updates the Metro Version of Skype to Fix Windows 8.1 Issues

The new Skype version is aimed at Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1
Microsoft has just rolled out a new version of Skype that’s specifically aimed at Windows 8.1 users, as some adopters of the new operating system have been experiencing problems with the app.

The official release notes only point to general fixes and performance improvements, but the app is also supposed to correct some compatibility issues with Windows 8.1 and reported by users via the company’s Community forums.

The update is currently delivered via the Windows Store and is aimed at both Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1, with the download obviously offered free of charge.

According to some bug reports, a number of Windows 8.1 users have been experiencing unexpected crashes when running Skype in the Modern UI, while for others the application failed to load completely.

Of course, everyone is now recommended to update the app, so make sure you download Skype for Windows 8.1 as soon as possible.

http://news.softpedia.com/news/Microsoft-Updates-t...

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mogs RE: Microsoft needs your help to nail the Windows 8.1 update
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Last edited on 20th Nov, 2013 23:15
November 20th, 2013, 15:06 GMT · By Bogdan Popa
SkyDrive in Windows 8.1 Doesn’t Show Sync Status for Some Users

Users keep finding issues in Windows 8.1, even though one month has passed since the official launch of the operating system.

This time, consumers who turned to Microsoft’s Community forums are reporting an issue with the SkyDrive app, as the app does not display the sync status on a number of computers updated to Windows 8.1.

The problems first appeared on mid-October, soon after Redmond officially debuted the new Windows 8.1 and they seem to persist today, even though several company engineers have tried to work with users on finding a workaround.

“Since my update yesterday to Windows 8.1 I can't see how much data has been synced (downloaded) from my SkyDrive. I have 48 GB in the SkyDrive so it will take a while to download that. From where do I know when it's finished?” one affected user asked on the forums.

The same problem has been confirmed by many other Windows 8.1 adopters and while Microsoft hasn’t said it clearly, the company is now looking into reports to find the cause of the issue.

Microsoft’s support engineers have asked users to provide them with logs that could help them find the source of the problem and then start working on a fix.

Consumers are obviously frustrated with Microsoft’s slow reaction to addressing the glitch and are now calling for the company to start looking into the matter as soon as possible.

“This is not a very satisfying answer. I have the 200 GB subscription with SkyDrive, and I have more than 10,000 files. I really want to be able to see the sync status in one place -- it's just not practical for me to search through a large directory hierarchy, hunting for sync status overlays,” another affected user replied to a Microsoft support engineer.

http://news.softpedia.com/news/SkyDrive-in-Windows...

5 great ways to 'uninstall' or ditch Metro/Modern UI from Windows 8.1
Use Windows 8.1 like you used Windows 7: from the Desktop


By Matt Egan | PC Advisor | 20 November 13

We show you how to get rid of the Modern UI, or Metro Interface, when using Windows 8.1. (See also: Windows 8.1 review: the free Windows 8 update has arrived.)
If like me you use Windows 8 on a desktop or laptop PC, the chances are you never see the tiled 'Modern UI' start page unless you inadvertantly hit the Windows key, or when you restart your system. And that's all to the good: at its best Windows 8 is a quicker and more stable Windows 7. At its worst it is the Modern UI. That garishly coloured page filled with live tiles and offers access to the moribund Windows App Store.
Unless someone corrects me on this, I know of no way to physically remove the Modern UI from Windows 8. But there are five great ways to reduce its appearances in your computing life, once you've upgraded to Windows 8.1 - it's free, and here we tell you how: How to upgrade to Windows 8.1.

Read more: http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/how-to/windows/3490242/...

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mogs RE: Microsoft needs your help to nail the Windows 8.1 update
Expert Contributor 26th Nov, 2013 11:50
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Users Blast Microsoft for Windows 8.1 Update Errors
November 26th, 2013, 09:41 GMT · By Bogdan Popa


Windows 8.1 was released in the store more than a month ago, but some users are still having serious problems when trying to get the update on their computers.

One of the common errors experienced when hitting the update button is “Couldn't update to Windows 8.1 - 0xC1900101 - 0x40017,” which doesn’t say much to beginners who were expecting a seamless installation process.

The problem is that some users are still getting this error, even though more than one month has passed since the debut of Windows 8.1, so it was only a matter of time until someone started to criticize Microsoft for its poor reaction to consumer problems.

Here are some of the comments posted on Microsoft’s Community forums and blasting the company for ignoring issues experienced by users with Windows 8.1:

“Doesn't anyone from Microsoft monitor this forum? Why are there no responses from Microsoft tech support in this discussion? Does anyone think calling the Microsoft support number will help? It seems like many of us have gone above and beyond what should be required to apply the 8.1 update, yet many (possibly even most) of us are still having problems.”

“I am not going to wipe the PC and re-install all my sw!! I simply don't have time to waste for that. Come on, Microsoft, this is now lasting for way too long. Do you really care about us who paid for your software?”

“We should not need to do this it is Microsoft problem not ours. Thanks for the help anyway. We just want Microsoft to say something about it.”

“The problem is they haven't given any instructions, no-one from Microsoft has commented on the issue, people posting here have been ignored and we're left to listening to suggestions from non-Microsoft employees that include uninstalling random third party software and reinstalling from scratch. Even if a Microsoft employee said 'sorry, we are working on it' that would be great. But nothing...”

Truth is, Microsoft has until now released patches and workarounds for only a few problems experienced by users after the launch of Windows 8.1, even though lots of people complained that the OS update doesn’t install and work as it was supposed to.

All we know is that the company is still working to address some of the bugs, so expect more patches to be released in the coming months.

http://news.softpedia.com/news/Users-Blast-Microso...

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November 26th, 2013, 15:39 GMT · By Bogdan Popa
Microsoft SkyDrive Making Duplicates of All Files Due to Symbolic Links Issues

Users keep reporting issues after moving to Windows 8.1, but some of the problems they find aren’t necessarily caused by the operating system itself.

This time, for example, users have come across some SkyDrive problems that are causing the service to make duplicates of basically all files stored in their accounts.

This happens after finishing the update to Windows 8.1, some users are reporting. The new Windows 8.1 OS version comes with a built-in SkyDrive client and is based a little bit more on the cloud-based storage service, just to give users more power when it comes to managing files stored in the cloud.

“I found that the culprit was SkyDrive; it had decided to create a copy of and subsequently upload every file in my SkyDrive folder. In some cases, it made more than one copy (appending the desktop name twice) even on files I had not opened in several months,” one user has reported on the Microsoft Community forums.

“It has happened to all files, whether recently edited or no edits in years. I am running Windows 81 enterprise x64, and office 365 Live. Picture files have not been duplicated (yet). SkyDrive is now filled and useless for syncing, with 15,000+ files pending upload due to exceeding capacity of SkyDrive, and unknown how many not synced,” another one added.

According to a forum moderator who joined the threat, the problem is caused by the symbolic links option available in SkyDrive and supposed to make synchronization across devices easier.

Symbolic links allow users to synchronize specific folders stored in their SkyDrive accounts without moving them in the root folder.

There’s no other workaround available at this point, so in case you’ve experienced similar problems, disabling symbolic links could indeed prevent the issue from taking place again in the future.

http://news.softpedia.com/news/Microsoft-SkyDrive-...


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November 27th, 2013, 03:49 GMT · By Bogdan Popa
Microsoft Releases Major Update for OneNote on Windows 8.1 – Video

Microsoft yesterday released a new version of OneNote, but the company hasn’t provided too many details on what’s new, leaving users to discover the changes it made to the app.

Today, on the other hand, Redmond has decided to provide us with full details on the update, revealing that OneNote now significantly improves the way you capture, find, and view notes on a Windows 8.1 device.

“This update makes it easier to capture notes using the Windows 8.1 Share Charm, enables you to scan things with your camera and search them, and shows your recent notes with page previews,” Microsoft said.

First of all, you can now capture your screen using the share charm, so you can quickly send new captures to OneNote with just a few taps or clicks.

“Let's say you're using the Bing Food & Drink app and you want to capture that yummy beef short rib recipe in OneNote so you can have it with you always. Use the Share Charm (swipe from the right or mouse to the top right corner, then select Share), select OneNote, and then select Send. Now that recipe will be in your notes, on all your devices, forever!” Microsoft explained.

New camera scan options help you capture documents, magazines, and whiteboards for OneNote. The new feature does the job almost all by itself, as it automatically crops, rotates, straightens, and removes shadows from images to look like scanned documents.

Last but not least, the new OneNote app comes with options to search for text in scanned documents using OCR, a feature that has been implemented in SkyDrive earlier this year.

“The technical name for this is Optical Character Recognition (OCR), and it's great for searching scanned or photographed images of recipes, documents, receipts and so much more. You can even copy the text out of the image,” Microsoft explained.

A video demonstration of what’s new in OneNote for Windows 8.1 is available below.

See at :-
http://news.softpedia.com/news/Microsoft-Releases-...



November 26th, 2013, 23:22 GMT · By Bogdan Popa
Flipboard for Windows 8.1 Receives Update – Free Download

Flipboard has only recently launched on Windows 8.1, but the developing team has been hard at work to improve the built-in features and release a new version of the app.

Today, an improved build showed up in the store, so in case you’re already running Windows 8.1 and you previously installed Flipboard, the update should be automatically downloaded and installed on your device, regardless of whether you are using a desktop or a tablet.

No details have been provided on this new version, which most likely means that the update is focused on fixing bugs and performance issues, but users are anyway recommended to update as soon as possible.

Of course, the new version comes with the same rich feature package, so go ahead and download Flipboard for Windows 8.1 to read news in the Modern UI.

http://news.softpedia.com/news/Flipboard-for-Windo...


Microsoft Updates the Windows 8.1 Finance App

A new version of the Finance app for Windows 8.1 is now being delivered through the store, so make sure you download it as soon as possible.

No specifics have been provided on this new build, but just like it happens with all the other updates that Microsoft has released lately, it probably tries to fix bugs and performance issues found in the app.

The Finance app relies on the same feature package and works on both Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1, so everyone is recommended to update as soon as possible.

The application obviously continues to be offered free of charge and comes with support for 136 languages, including Italian, English, German, French, and Spanish.

In case you’ve already disabled the dedicated option that automatically installs app updates on a Windows 8.1 device, make sure you download Finance for Windows 8 manually right now.

http://news.softpedia.com/news/Microsoft-Updates-t...


Fix Your Windows 8.1 Display Driver Issues with This Free App

Some of the problems experienced by users when trying to update to Windows 8.1 or access specific features of the new OS are caused by incompatible graphic drivers, with Microsoft recommending users to install the latest versions as soon as possible.

If you’re trying to make the whole process a bit faster, Display Driver Uninstaller is the right tool.

This little application comes with dedicated options to remove video card drivers and reboot the computer, while also offering settings to remove the created NVIDIA or AMD folders or save logs for further analysis.

The program can be installed and used on both 32- and 64-bit versions of Windows 8.1, but keep in mind that a reboot is required after removing the graphic drivers from your computer.

Overall, this tiny app can clearly come in handy when trying to get rid of video card drivers.

http://news.softpedia.com/news/Fix-Your-Windows-8-...




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December 2nd, 2013, 14:49 GMT · By Bogdan Popa

Windows 8.1 64-bit Gaining Traction Among Gamers, Steam Data Claims

Windows 8.1 is also gaining ground among gamers, with new data provided by Valve’s Steam platform confirming that more users are making the move to this particular OS version.

The 64-bit version of Windows 8.1 has managed to increase its Steam share by 4.17 percent before eventually reaching 6.11 percent. The 32-bit edition, on the other hand, has only posted a 0.13 percent to .023 percent.

Windows 7 64-bit continues to leading the charts with 51.76 percent, up 0.33 percent from the previous month, while the 32-bit flavors comes second with 12.62 percent.

The aging Windows XP continues to be one of the top gaming platforms, as the 32-bit version is now running on 6.17 percent of Steam computers.

Windows 8.1 was officially launched in October and is now being offered as a free download to all Windows 8 users through the integrated store. A core license is priced at $119.99 (€90).

http://news.softpedia.com/news/Windows-8-1-64-bit-...

December 2nd, 2013, 15:27 GMT · By Bogdan Popa

Microsoft’s Next Windows 8.1 Update to Be Called “Threshold” – Report

Microsoft has only recently launched the new Windows 8.1, but the company is already working on the next two updates scheduled to be released in 2014 and 2015, respectively.

While the spring 2014 rollout is very likely to be called either “Update 1” or “Spring 2014 GDR Update,” the 2015 round of improvements could be actually baptized Threshold.

Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet is reporting that OS head Terry Myerson has recently revealed this name during a private meeting, saying that Microsoft is on track to launch it in early 2015.

While Redmond hasn’t obviously talked about such plans, the same report states that Threshold will actually be the update that will bring all Windows versions together, as Microsoft has made it public that it wants its future OS releases to merge some of its products.

Windows, Windows Phone, and Xbox One could all be improved as part of the Threshold rollout, with Microsoft to put the emphasis on “high value activities,” just like outgoing CEO Steve Ballmer said in a recent press conference.

As you can see, Windows RT could be left out from this new round of updates, which could be a sign that Microsoft is indeed trying to merge the tablet operating system with Windows Phone.

Surprisingly, the Threshold rollout could come at about the same time as Windows 9, the next full Windows release that, according to some previous reports, was scheduled to go live in either later 2014 or early 2015.

Just like its predecessors, the next Windows version is expected to put the emphasis on touch devices, so it will further improve the Start screen and bring more optimization aimed at tablets.

We’re still waiting for some confirmation from Redmond, so until this happens, take all of these with a pinch of salt.

http://news.softpedia.com/news/Microsoft-s-Next-Wi...

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December 4th, 2013, 09:22 GMT · By Bogdan Popa

Steam Updated with DirectX 11 Improvements on Windows 8.1

Valve has released a new version of the Steam client this morning, implementing a long series of changes that are supposed to result in major performance improvements on Windows, Linux, and Mac.

Simply labeled as Steam 12.03.2013, the new version of the client packs improved in-game overlay compatibility for some DirectX 10 and DirectX 11 games on Windows 8.1, so any game incompatibilities that might be experienced on Microsoft’s new OS should no longer exist.

At the same time, the new build adds option to let other games download while a game is running, add download regions for some new Canadian locations, and improves download rates for internal app meta data.

Overall, there’s no doubt that this is quite an important update for all users, so download Steam 12.03.2013 to benefit from all these improvements on your Windows computer.

http://news.softpedia.com/news/Steam-Updated-with-...

December 4th, 2013, 08:35 GMT · By Bogdan Popa

Adobe Flash Player 12.0.0.24 Beta Released for Download

Adobe has just launched a new beta version of the Flash Player, thus providing users who wish to have a glimpse into the feature lineup of the new build with an early look into the next release.

The parent company hasn’t provided any details on what’s new in this particular build, but since it’s just a minor service release, Adobe Flash Player 12.0.0.17 Beta is most likely focused on fixing bugs and addressing performance issues found in older versions.

The new version of Flash Player comes with support for all platforms on the market and can even be installed on Windows 8.1, as it’s fully compatible with the new Internet Explorer 11.

Of course, this beta is only recommended for those who have enough time to diagnose issues and address performance bugs, so you’re strongly recommended to get the stable build for a bug-free experience.

Overall, this is an update that comes in very handy to all users, so download Adobe Flash Player 12.0.0.24 Beta right now to see what’s new.

http://news.softpedia.com/news/Adobe-Flash-Player-...



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mogs RE: Microsoft needs your help to nail the Windows 8.1 update
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December 4th, 2013, 19:51 GMT · By Bogdan Popa

Windows 8.1 Breaks Own Record: 130,000+ Metro Apps Available for Download

Ever since Microsoft officially unveiled the new Windows 8 operating system, the company has started investing a fortune into campaigns supposed to bring developers closer and convince them to port their apps to the modern platform.

The number of apps has gradually increased, even though the initial uptake seemed rather disappointing. At first, Microsoft was clearly putting the focus on quantity, promising that more than 100,000 apps would reach the store before February 2013.



Over the last few months, however, things have improved a lot, so at this point, there are more than 130,000 apps available for Windows 8 and 8.1 users.

While this is not yet a sign that all developers have decided to port their apps to Windows 8, because many high-quality software programs are still missing from the store, it can only be good news for Redmond, as investments in this area continue these days.

Microsoft’s new problem right now is the quality of the apps listed in the store. Many of the items that Microsoft approves to be listed for download are nothing more than spam apps, some of which are trying to capitalize on the popularity of some other software solutions that are yet to be released on Windows 8.

VLC, for example, is yet to get a Windows 8 port, but several clones have already reached the store, trying to trick people into believing that they are downloading the real deal. Most of these clones are not offered for free and are requiring users to pay a few bucks for a license that doesn’t make any difference, as the feature lineup is extremely limited.

Overall, the growing number of apps is clearly a good thing for all Windows 8 and 8.1 users, but Microsoft urgently needs to address issues concerning spam and the overall quality of apps that are offered to adopters of its new OSes.

http://news.softpedia.com/news/Windows-8-1-Breaks-...


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December 5th, 2013, 06:32 GMT · By Bogdan Popa

Microsoft Touts IE11 as the Right App to Tackle Network Latency

Microsoft has officially launched Internet Explorer 11 as part of Windows 8.1, claiming that this new version of its browser is the fast and the most secure build to date.

This time, Redmond has published a lengthy blog post to explain that Internet Explorer 11 can make browsing fast despite network latency, as it bundles several technologies to improve page loading times.

Microsoft again brings page prediction, preloading, and prefetching in the spotlight, saying that all these features “can give the browser a head start in downloading and rendering the next page or downloading resources for the next page.”

“Network latency is a problem that holds back Web performance, even though we enjoy more bandwidth now than ever before. IE11 reduces the effects of network latency by downloading and preloading pages and Web resources in the background, downloading multiple resources in parallel using the SPDY/3 protocol, and prioritizing downloads of the most important resources on the page,” Microsoft explains.

Redmond then goes on to say that the automatic page prediction feature can help Internet Explorer predict the next page that you wish to go to, so it loads that page in the background to make the whole process faster.

At the same time, the browser remains very friendly with system resources and doesn’t affect battery life at all, which makes Internet Explorer 11 the best choice for tablets as well.

“IE11 only downloads resources that have high likelihood of impacting navigation performance. For example, IE11 preloads pages and content only when there is high confidence that you are going to visit them. Uniquely, IE also prevents sites from draining your device’s resources, by limiting the number of preload and prefetch operations from each Web page,” Redmond explained.

Internet Explorer 11 is available as the default browser in Windows 8.1 and as an optional download for Windows 7 users who wish to try out the newest version of the application.

http://news.softpedia.com/news/Microsoft-Touts-IE1...


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December 6th, 2013, 12:26 GMT · By Bogdan Popa
Microsoft No Longer Sells Windows 7 to Retailers

Both Windows 8 and 8.1 are already on the market, so Microsoft can focus on strategies to convince users to adopt its modern platforms, rather than switching or sticking to Windows 7.

The company has decided to stop retail sales of Windows 7 on October 30 without any official announcement, thus making an important move towards moving everyone to Windows 8 or 8.1.

In case you’re wondering what “the end of retail sales” means for users, here’s the official explanation posted on the Windows lifecycle fact sheet page:

“End of sales refers to the date when a particular version of Windows is no longer shipped to retailers or Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs). Examples of OEMS are Dell and Toshiba—PC manufacturers who often preinstall Windows software. When a version of Windows reaches its end of sales date, it's a good time to think about upgrading.”

The company then goes on to say that Windows 7 is still available through OEMs, but they will also stop selling Windows 7 preinstalled on new PC on October 30, 2014.

“When the retail software product reaches its end of sales date, it can still be purchased through OEMs (the company that made your PC) until it reaches the end of sales date for PCs with Windows preinstalled,” Microsoft added.

Windows 7 is still available at several retailers online right now, but only because they still have the operating system in stock, as Microsoft no longer sells new licenses.

Windows 7 is at this point the world’s number one operating system, being installed on more than 45 percent of computers worldwide, way ahead of rivals Windows XP and Windows 8. At the same time, it’s also the number one destination for Windows XP users looking to migrate, mostly because it still has the tradition OS look with a fully-working Start Menu.

http://news.softpedia.com/news/Microsoft-No-Longer...

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December 6th, 2013, 23:38 GMT · By Bogdan Popa
IE Again Causing Compatibility Issues, Older Versions Come to the Rescue

IE11 is now available for both Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 users but, sometimes, the browser is actually causing more harm than good.

Microsoft has recently confirmed that, in some cases, CRM Online configurations do not work in Internet Explorer 11, so users are recommended to either use compatibility view or switch to an older version of Microsoft’s browser.

“We are hearing from the support team that they are receiving escalations from administrators using IE 11 not being able to do the initial configuration of their CRM Online organizations,” Microsoft engineer Daria Barteneva said in a short post.

She also shared a very simple workaround for users affected by the compatibility issue, explaining that turning to the built-in compatibility view or installing IE10 or an even older build could do the trick.

“The workaround is: log in to MOP from a machine with an older IE version (IE10 for example) and rerun the configuration from there OR use compatibility view,” she pointed out.

http://news.softpedia.com/news/IE-Again-Causing-Co...

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mogs RE: Microsoft needs your help to nail the Windows 8.1 update
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December 9th, 2013, 06:10 GMT · By Bogdan Popa
Microsoft to Retire Windows 8.1 Preview Next Month

Microsoft has just announced that Windows 8.1 Preview will be retired next month, with all users now encouraged to switch to the stable release of the operating system.

Windows 8.1 Preview was officially launched on June 26 during the BUILD developer conference in San Francisco and was initially supposed to let users give a try to the first Windows 8 update.



Just like the full release, Windows 8.1 Preview was distributed via the integrated store as a free update and was also delivered to RT devices, such as Microsoft’s very own Surface RT.

Now Microsoft has just announced that Windows 8.1 Preview licenses will expire next month, without providing any specifics on the day this is going to happen.

“Partners should communicate with their customers to make sure they move to the final released versions of Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 before January 2014 when the license for the preview will expire,” the company said in a blog post.

“Plans should be made to move to the released version of Windows 8.1 or return to the prior OS version as soon as possible to avoid interruption in use of the device on which the Windows 8.1 Preview was installed.”

While Microsoft hasn’t provided details on the day when Windows 8.1 Preview is going to be retired, it’s pretty clear that the company wants this to happen as soon as possible, as the company needs more adopters for its stable operating system.

In fact, the full build of Windows 8.1 is much more stable than the Preview build and packs lots of improvements, including bug fixes and performance optimization implemented after the launch of the Preview version.

Windows 8.1 was officially launched in October and is offered as a free update from the store for all those who installed Windows 8 on either desktops or tablets.

http://news.softpedia.com/news/Microsoft-to-Retire...

December 9th, 2013, 06:45 GMT · By Bogdan Popa
Microsoft: SkyDrive Is Built at the Core of Windows

One of the improvements that Microsoft made in Windows 8.1 is the deeper integration of SkyDrive, the company’s very own cloud-based storage service that allows users to access their files from any device.

SkyDrive is now easily accessible from both the Modern UI and the desktop and allows users to download and upload files to and from their accounts with just a few taps.



Microsoft says that all these improvements have been made to make SkyDrive the core of Windows, as the service gives extra space, while also adding new functionality to the operating system.

“Today, consumers want more from their tablets: the ability to access files from any device, and the affordance to do so without running out of disk space on these low-storage devices. As a result, many consumers and developers have turned to cloud storage services to store files and deliver a continuous experience across devices,” Microsoft explained in a lengthy blog post detailing the integration of SkyDrive in Windows 8.1.

“With Windows 8.1, SkyDrive is built at the core of Windows, which gives both consumers and developers unprecedented flexibility for achieving these goals.”

Microsoft then goes on to say that libraries, which have also been improved in Windows 8.1, are also providing one-click access to files stored in either the SkyDrive account or on the local drives.

“Consumers can easily save and open files on SkyDrive directly from their apps, by using the file picker or adding content to their libraries. Libraries seamlessly aggregate files from the local PC and SkyDrive, which gives apps a common entry point to access all of the user’s content,” Microsoft said.

Microsoft is offering 7GB of free storage on SkyDrive to all users, while additional space is available based on plans that can be purchased via the Microsoft account.

http://news.softpedia.com/news/Microsoft-SkyDrive-...



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mogs RE: Microsoft needs your help to nail the Windows 8.1 update
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December 9th, 2013, 15:07 GMT · By Bogdan Popa

Microsoft to Release Plenty of Windows 8.1 Updates Tomorrow


- Patch Tuesday will bring both security and non-security updates to Windows 8.1 users

Tomorrow it's Patch Tuesday, with Microsoft announcing a total of 11 different updates, five of which are rated as critical and supposed to fix flaws in Windows, Office, and Internet Explorer.

In addition to these fixes, Redmond is also planning to roll out several non-security updates that are mostly supposed to address bugs found in Windows 8.1 on both desktops and tablets.

Microsoft has revealed in an advisory that it'll indeed provide Windows 8.1 and RT 8.1 users with several non-security fixes tomorrow, but hasn't provided any specifics on what's going to be fixed. The bulletins only state a brief description saying that you should “install this update to resolve issues in Windows.”

Just like the other updates, these new patches will be delivered via Windows Update on Windows 8.1, so make sure you install them as soon as they reach your computer, as they are all supposed to correct bugs and improve performance.
http://news.softpedia.com/news/Microsoft-to-Releas...



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It's true, the START MENU is coming BACK to Windows 8, hiss sources
'Threshold' updates to restore beloved UI in 2015

By Neil McAllister, 9th December 2013

Microsoft's forthcoming wave of Windows updates will streamline the OS and will even see the return of the much-missed Start menu, according to new reports.

Rumors that Redmond is planning a new round of updates to the various forms of its OS first surfaced last week, with ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley reporting that Microsoft will deliver a mass overhaul called "Threshold" that will bring significant changes to Windows, Windows RT, and Xbox One.

On Monday, Foley and fellow Microsoft-watcher Paul Thurrott both elaborated on those whispers, with each citing sources who claim the software giant will use Threshhold to address longstanding customer gripes with Windows 8.

According to Foley, this next round of updates – let's call it Windows 8.2, although no version number has been announced – will see Microsoft's OS consolidated into three versions, each aimed at a different market.

For starters, there will allegedly be a "modern" version of Windows that will be oriented around Windows Store apps, Redmond's touch-centric software model that debuted with Windows 8. This version will be similar to the current Windows RT OS that ships on Microsoft's ARM-based Surface tablets, but in its new incarnation it will span PCs, tablets, and phones, and it may run on the Intel chip architecture as well as ARM.

A second version of Windows will be aimed at customers who want a more traditional PC experience, Foley reports, with emphasis on the desktop and a UI designed for keyboards and mice.

There will also be a third version that targets enterprise customers, Foley's sources suggest. One difference with this version will be that instead of frequent, automatic updates delivered via the Windows Store, Microsoft will ship security fixes on a more predictable cadence to suit business IT admins.

The idea appears to be that Microsoft will tailor slightly different versions of its operating system for different audiences, rather than the one-size-fits-all approach it tried when it launched the touch-driven Windows 8.

More to read at :-
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/12/09/microsoft_...

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December 16th, 2013, 04:00 GMT · By Bogdan Popa
HP Launches Website to Help Users Discover Windows 8.1

The confusion created by Windows 8 after launch made many people stay away from the modern operating system, but now that 8.1 is on the market, Microsoft and partners have started a campaign to bring back consumers.

HP, for example, launched a new website called “The Buzz” that comes to lend a hand to users have a hard time discovering Windows 8 and 8.1.



The new webpage comes with basically all the info you would need to make the most of Microsoft's modern operating system, packing guides, tutorials, in-depth descriptions of the built-in features, and apps that could help you improve your overall experience with Windows 8.1.

“The new Windows has arrived, and it has people talking. You'll find the 411 on Windows 8 right here. Browse HP and industry articles, watch videos, learn about new features and discover all the ways people are getting the most out of the new Windows,” HP says in the official description of the website.

An article called 8.1 reasons to go with Windows 8.1 comes to present the main improvements that Microsoft made in the operating system update, explaining that users looking for a new operating system should clearly go for this one.

“When Windows 8 launched last year, it flipped the script on how you look at your desktop – and your Start button. Now, with the big, recent update to Windows 8.1 there are a LOT of reasons to like what’s new,” the company said before going on to introduce the new Start button to readers.

“With the new Windows, the Start button has returned (sort of). Look on the bottom left corner of the screen, and you will see a Windows logo. Clicking on it (or the Windows key on your keyboard) will take you right into the streamlined Windows 8 Start screen. Click it again to go back to Desktop mode.”

HP is one of the companies that are still betting big on Windows 8 and 8.1, even though many Microsoft partners decided to stop the development of tablets running Windows RT and concentrate all efforts on the full version of the operating system.

http://news.softpedia.com/news/HP-Launches-Website...


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Frustrated users complain about SkyDrive problems after Windows 8.1 update

There are more than 120 active discussion threads on Microsoft's SkyDrive forum.
By Juan Carlos Perez
December 18, 2013 10:48 PM ET

IDG News Service - As people have moved to Windows 8.1 in the past two months, the drumbeat of reports that the OS update has affected the SkyDrive cloud storage service has grown louder.

Frustrated users have started more than 120 unique discussion threads on the SkyDrive section of Microsoft's Community site. There are other threads dealing with this topic in other sections of the site, and in third-party discussion forums.

Most of the threads on the company's Community site are active, and few have received a satisfying answer from Microsoft forum moderators.

The problems for the affected users began after installing Windows 8.1, the update to Windows 8 that started shipping in mid-October. The complaints include nagging and persistent error messages, slow performance, difficulty uploading files, lost and corrupted folders and documents, and sync troubles, including duplicate files and processes caught in a loop.

Asked for comment, a Microsoft spokesman said via email that the company is "aware of a small number of people discussing these issues on forums" and that it tries to work with them individually, often by phone, to solve their issues.

"Most people using Windows 8.1 and SkyDrive, however, are having a good experience," the spokesman wrote.

The affected users don't share the same view. "SkyDrive in 8.1 is obviously a complete mess. I think most people are having issues with it in some way or another," wrote someone identified in the forums as Amrgardner.

Although Microsoft states there isn't a generalized problem with SkyDrive in Windows 8.1, the number of discussion threads dealing with the issues and the number of people participating in them seems out of the norm for a problem that is uncommon. It's also rare for forum moderators to be stumped by most of the reports, which is leading some fed-up customers to give up on SkyDrive and move to competing cloud storage services.

It's unfortunate for those users who have SkyDrive problems with Windows 8.1, since the two products were deeply integrated in this OS update. Microsoft did that so using SkyDrive would be easier and more convenient than it had been on Windows 8, the company said in a blog post on Oct. 15. However, most of the comments readers made to that post in the following weeks were negative.

The volume of problem reports in the discussion forums may be due to an increase in SkyDrive use, now that the service is fused with Windows 8.1, according to IDC analyst Al Gillen. This increase in file replication activity could be shinning a brighter light on potential system weaknesses in SkyDrive.

"If there are corruption and other file issues being experienced by users of SkyDrive, that would be a very critical issue to resolve, since failing to address such problems would quickly damage the credibility of SkyDrive," Gillen said via email.

SkyDrive has become an extremely important product for Microsoft as the company tries to change itself from a provider of desktop applications into a provider of cloud-based software and services. SkyDrive acts as the underlying, common cloud storage service for Windows, Office and other major Microsoft consumer products. A workplace version called SkyDrive Pro is a key component of enterprise products such as the Office 365 cloud email and collaboration suite.

Meanwhile, the expectations are high for Windows 8.1, which was designed to address major complaints that plagued Windows 8. However, Windows 8.1's rollout has been far from perfect, as the OS update was hit by a variety of serious and disruptive bugs in the days and weeks following its release, including computers that couldn't boot up, peripherals that malfunctioned, software that couldn't be run and OS installations that couldn't be completed.

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9244888/Fru...


Microsoft warns customers to update to Windows 8.1 final or face ruin

June's beta dies Jan. 15, 2014
By Gregg Keizer
December 18, 2013 04:15 PM ET

Computerworld - Microsoft today reminded customers that the Windows 8.1 Preview will conk out on Jan.15.

"Now that Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 have been generally available for a while, it's time to get all your remaining devices that are still running Windows 8.1 Preview or Windows RT 8.1 Preview to the final GA release before the Preview release expires," Microsoft said in a short post to a company blog Wednesday.

"GA," for General Availability, is a label Microsoft uses to denote the final, shipping version of a product.

"You have no right to use the software after this expiration date [of Jan. 15, 2014]," stated the preview's license (download PDF) "Starting from the expiration date, you may not be able to access any unsaved data used with the software."

Microsoft released a single preview of Windows 8.1 on June 25, when CEO Steve Ballmer -- who would announce his retirement two months later -- called on a coffee metaphor to say the update was "a refined blend of our desktop experience and our Modern user experience."

More to read at :-
http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9244883/Mic...


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