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Posted on Mar 3, 2014 in Newsletter | 0 comments

TWT Newsletter NG – Issue 9 – New Microsoft CEO, more Windows 8.1 updates

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TWT Newsletter NG – Issue 9

Welcome to the February 2014 TWT Newsletter

With the first month of the year already behind us and the hustle and bustle of CES all over and done with, February is usually a much quieter month for Windows related news. With the weather outside still frightful for most of us though, it’s a great time to learn some new computer skills, and is perfect for that all year round.

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In this months issue:-

What’s new at
Microsoft appoint a new CEO
Microsoft takes another swipe at Google
Tip of the Month – Improve screen readability with Cleartype
Free Utility of the Month – JLC’s Internet TV
Windows Store app of the Month – Sidebar Dictionary
Windows 8.1 and Windows 9 – The latest rumours


What’s new at

We are going full steam ahead into 2014 with a range of both new tutorials and updates to existing content.


picture WindowBlinds 8 – 3 TutorialsIf you want to completely transform the look and feel of your desktop, then WindowBlinds 8 is the utility you need. Last month we brought you three tutorials covering how to use this great little program. Click here to view them.



picture BleachBit – 3 TutorialsIf you thought clicking on “Delete” and then emptying your recycle bin was enough to securely delete your files, think again. If you need to permanently delete a file so that it cannot be recovered, you need a tutorial like BleachBit. BleachBit helps clean and secure your PC. Click here to view our three tutorials on this excellent free utility.


picture ZoneAlarm firewall – 3 TutorialsThis popular free security suite includes a full firewall and an antivirus package. We’ve fully updated our ZoneAlarm tutorials and you can view them here.




Microsoft appoint a new CEO

After many months of speculation, Microsoft finally appointed a new CEO to replace the energetic Steve Ballmer. Satya Nadella, previously executive vice president of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise group, will now take over the CEO role. Microsoft founder Bill Gates will also take a more active roll, becoming a “technology adviser” and devoting a third of his time to the company, according to various sources on the web, although this means he will be officially stepping down from his previous roll as chairman of the board.

Satya Nadella, 47, was born in Hyderabad, India. He holds a bachelors degree in electrical engineering from Mangalore University in his home country. After graduation, he came to the United States and earned a masters degree in computer science from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee and a masters degree in business administration from the University of Chicago. Prior to working for Microsoft, Nadella was a member of the technology staff at Sun Microsystems.

Bill Gates was naturally full of praise for the new CEO, “During this time of transformation, there is no better person to lead Microsoft than Satya Nadella,” he said. Certainly the PC market is transforming and Windows 9 could be the most important version of the OS yet. We’ll have more on Windows 9 in our final article this month.


Microsoft take another swipe at Google

Seems Microsoft is getting more aggessive in its marketing, particularly against fellow tech giant Google. Back in issue 7 of the newsletter we looked at Microsoft’s claim that offered more secure e-mail than Google Mail and concluded that, in actual fact, there was little meaningful difference.

The latest advertising campaign from Redmond focuses more on the strengths of Windows 8 laptops versus the competition from Google, specifically the Chromebook. In this Youtube video a busy mother explains the advantages of Windows 8 over the Google Chromebook which apparently “has to be connected to the internet to get much done”.

While it’s a little strange that Microsoft is hyping up Windows 8.1’s offline capabilities while at the same time making it harder to use them by hiding the options to create offline accounts, the video does make a point overall. The price of affordable Windows 8 laptops and even tablets is falling, and no machine is more flexible than a Windows machine.

That’s not to say Chromebooks don’t have a place. For people uninterested in playing games or running Microsoft office, Google’s lightweight OS can make good use of the limited resources available in cheaper laptops. They can be quicker to set up and for complete computer novices, their lack of features can actually be a selling point. Certainly though, Windows 8 does have a lot of advantages over the Chromebook and we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend a Windows 8 laptop over a Chromebook for most users. While taking such a swipe at the competition might seem a bit of a low blow to some, Microsoft clearly needs to explain the advantages of Windows 8 to consumers in a clear and understandable fashion and at least adverts like these go some way towards achieving that.


Tip of the Month – Improve screen readability with Cleartype

Is the text on your screen not as sharp as it should be? If so, you should try the Cleartype tool to tune up the appearance of text on your screen. In Windows 7 or 8, you can launch this tool easily, simply by searching for “Cleartype” from the Start menu or Start screen and clicking on the icon that appears. A Cleartype window will then appear and walk you through the process of fine-tuning your display, simple!


Free Utility of the Month – JLC’s Internet TV

We all like to get more value for money and one way you can get more from your broadband is by using internet television channels. With more and more channels broadcasting online, JLC’s Internet TV is a great way to access content you might not be able to pick up with your regular TV. Use it while you travel to access programs in your native language, or simply when you can’t find something to watch on the regular TV. Find out more or download a copy of the program here.


Windows Store app of the Month –Sidebar Dictionary

If you enjoy reading and writing on your Windows 8 tablet, you should check out this excellent tool that takes full advantage of Windows 8.1’s superior multitasking features. Sidebar Dictionary, as the name suggests, is a fully featured dictionary app that can dock neatly to the side of the screen. Use the dictionary while you study, while you surf the web or even to help you with that tricky crossword app!

Find out more about Sidebar Dictionary or download your own copy here.


Windows 8.1 and Windows 9 – The latest rumours

Yes, we know, it’s becoming a monthly feature to round up the latest speculation about the future of Windows, but we figured most of our readers would be interested in where Windows might be going in the next version. With the proliferation of mobile devices across the market, we are in a very interesting point in the history of personal computing. The market is diversifying like never before and how Microsoft adapt to these changes will be crucial for the future of the OS.

First of all, Microsoft are set to launch another update to Windows 8, currently known as Windows 8.1 update 1, we’re not sure if this somewhat confusing name will remain or if this will become Windows 8.2. Regardless, there are a number of small but significant changes planned. Most of the changes focus on making it easier to use tile applications with a traditional keyboard and mouse. If you found it awkward to close or multitask with tile apps on your keyboard and mouse based system, the new update will add an additional right-click activated menu to the top of all tile applications. This menu will allow you to quickly minimise or close the app,or use the multitasking features of the OS to place the tile to the left or right of the screen.

Furthermore, tile applications will now appear on the taskbar, along with your desktop applications. At the very least this makes switching between the two different interfaces much less confusing.

Other notable tweaks include further improvements to the Windows 8 mail application and some minor changes to the PC Settings section, probably to allow quicker access to the desktop control panel for tweaking advanced settings.

Meanwhile, speculation on Windows 9 remains rampant. A 2015 release date seems certain for the new OS, as sales of Windows 8 continue to be slower than Microsoft would like. As reported last month, Threshold, the current codename for Windows 9, is expected to restore the traditional Windows Start menu, as well as add further improvements to the new Start screen. According to some sources, Microsoft will be revealing more details about the new OS in April, at a specially organised company event.

It seems everyone has an opinion on Windows 9 and the direction Microsoft is going in. Our opinion has always been that Windows should work as brilliantly on a desktop as it does on a tablet. We still believe that is possible and Microsoft should work toward this goal, rather than separating the tablet version of the OS from the desktop and laptop version like Apple does. Bring back the Start menu but continue to enhance the Start screen. Restore the functionality that was removed from the Control Panel (such as adding new user accounts) but keep that same functionality in the modern UI too. Add touch friendly versions of key Windows tools like File Explorer, Notepad and the Windows firewall, but understand that power users and IT pro’s are going to want to continue to use the traditional, keyboard and mouse driven versions of those tools whenever possible.

When running Windows on a desktop, I should rarely, if ever, be forced to visit the modern UI. When running it on a tablet, the reverse should be true. This is the goal Microsoft should work towards and Windows 9 will truly be the most versatile, powerful OS ready for the diverse range of computers and devices we’ll all be using in the future.

That concludes our newsletter for February. On behalf of the team here at TWT, I’d like to say thank you to all our readers, new and old for your continued support. The TWT Newsletter will return on the 10th March 2014 and will bring you more tips, tricks and techniques to help you get the best out of your PC, be it Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8. We hope that you found this newsletter informative and useful. If you did not then please let us know why, you can contact us by visiting this page. If you have enjoyed this newsletter, feel free to pass it on to all your friends and family, or better still encourage them to sign up for their own copy. Until next month, keep checking and enjoy happy, safe and stress-free computing!

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