Windows 8.1 Update – Thoughts

I’ve been using windows 8 since it was in beta and have always liked it, but it has its issues. 8.1 did a lot to remedy this and now its time for 8.1 Update 1 to have a go at addressing the issues.

Due to a number of leaks its been no secret that this has been coming, or that it what it was going to address.

Although I’m tempted, I’m not going to write about this in-depth, partly because I can’t be bothered, but mostly because there’s already plenty of writing about this and I’d just be copying that. My favourite is Paul Thurrott’s Review:

My Favourite Features
There are loads of new features to play with the 8.1 update, but my favourites are.

Power button and Search on the Start screen

My primary device is a desktop, and Virtual Machines under that, and one of my biggest issues has been easily getting to the power options without fuss.

I regularly run 3 or 4 VM’s on my desktop across multiple monitors, which has made getting to the charm’s for the power options a bit of a pain.

Yes, i could use the quick access menu (WINKEY + X), but this doesn’t always give me the menu for the machine I want and I have, on more than 1 occasion, rebooted my main desktop rather than the 1 VM I wanted to 🙁

As such, I really love having the Power button up on the start menu, and the Search button is great when I’m working on my surface without the keyboard.

Title bar and window Controls

As I use windows mostly from a desktop with a keyboard and mouse I have found the full-screen metro app a little frustrating at times. With 8.1 Update, the mouse users among us now get a title bar with proper window controls when working in a full screen app.

Boot to desktop
Not a feature I’ve been using, but i know there is much love for being able to boot directly to the desktop, bypassing the start screen.

This, and a couple of other options are now available in the Taskbar properties.


OneNote is now Free… Everywhere!!

One piece of news that I picked up on last week is that Microsoft was going to make OneNote free for all, from every device. Well, this morning, that became a reality, alongside OneNote for Mac.

OneNote had been available on iOS, Windows Phone and Android for a while now, but this is the first time its been available for Mac OSX, and about time too.

This has probably been the most underrated Microsoft Office product for some time, and like many I was sceptical about its use a couple of years ago. Now though, I can’t live without it.

OneNote Cloud API
Alongside the release of the free version, comes the news that the OneNote service now includes a new Cloud API, which will allow the development of more and more apps to work with OneNote and make this product even better.

Theres already a whole bunch of apps for OneNote, and I’m sure this list with expand greatly over the coming weeks as developers get hold of it.

Do more with OneNote today

For more information:

MS Office Blog – OneNote now on Mac, free everywhere and service powered
MS Office Blog – Introducing OneNote for Mac
WinSuperSite – Introducing OneNote for Mac