For Microsoft Kool-Aid Drinkers, Non-paid MS Evangelists written by a Senior Consultant, Passionate about Tech

Archive for December, 2013


So, I was talking to someone the other day about Windows 8.1 and how amazing it really is to work with in all of my environments.  They mentioned that the one thing they wish they could do is organize their start screen and have it be more functional like their old desktop.  I nearly fell off of my seat.  Uh, more functional like the desktop?   It didn’t take long for me to convince him that the new start screen is by far more useful than the old desktop.  For example, to really organize your desktop icons, you needed to move them around and place them into groups. Or use a third party tool.  You would also have to rename them so that you could actually understand what they were.  Not only were they hard to read, but very hard to use on a touch screen.  Add moving them around on multiple monitors and resolutions, yikes!!  If I think about how terrible the old desktop was, I might start having nightmares again.  So, I will stop there.

I started to talk more about live tiles,  moving one or more icons with semantic zoom and resizing them.  He already knew about all of that, but I happened to notice that he had a variety of large and small groups, but I couldn’t figure out what they represented for him.  So, I asked him why he didn’t name his groups.  He said, “I hadn’t even thought of that.”

So, today, I thought I would give you a quick tip on naming the groups of tiles you have on your start screen.

Read more

LockscreenImageNow that most of us have a camera in our pocket, we snap a picture at everything that moves us.  Then we share it on our plethora of social networks.  Why not showcase those bad boys off to the world?  Okay, maybe not to the world, but how about to anyone that walks by our device or home PC?

Well, Windows 8.1 allows you to show off all your pictures in all of their glory.  Show people your ski vacation, summer retreat, fun family pictures, your nature walks or even that crazy guy doing street tricks on your walk to work.  Windows will create a unique slideshow with collages, full screen pictures and a number of animations to bring them all to life.  Did you know it will also pick images from the last year if you let it?  Yeah, I know, pretty darn cool!  I have heard that it also selects images based on the time of year, however, I haven’t taken the time to research the truth to that rumor.

Are you interested?  Well, let’s begin…

Read more

imageWindows 8.1.  Wow.  Some really great changes from Windows 8.  Wow.  I mean, look at that Start screen.   Wow, it is beautiful.  Isn’t it?  Those tiles just pop out and give you so much information.  Wow.  I don’t even have to open up half of my applications anymore.  Wow, just look at how much more information you can get by just looking at your screen.   Did, the old desktop give that much information (without widgets of course)?  Wow, it is amazing.

So, you love the “Wow” factor of Windows 8 as well?  What is that?  You want more “Wow”?  Well, the great thing is that in Windows 8.1, you can get even larger tiles for even more information!!  And “Wow”.

Okay, enough with the “Wow”s for a while and let’s see how we can make a tile larger.  First thing to note is that an application has to support the larger tile format.  Let’s take a look at one that does.

Read more