Editorial: Building the perfect ultrabook – and where PC makers are wrong

Editorial: Building the perfect ultrabook – and where PC makers are wrong

Ultraportables, thin and light laptops, ultrabooks, no matter what the name, arguably they represent the future of the form factor. Notably, Apple has been flirting with the concept since the MacBook Air was launched in 2008, but other manufacturers such as Lenovo and Sony have also heavily contributed to the design and development of lightweight notebooks in the past decade.

It appears as though we’re just now arriving to that sweet spot where fewer compromises can be made to build fast and svelte machines that are budget-friendly, all at the same time. Intel has recognized this trend and is investing heavily to make sure they become the platform of choice to build ‘ultrabooks’ (they own that trademark).

However, it’s easy to miss what a true next-generation ultraportable notebook should be. Manufacturers are short-sighted if they only focus on building fast machines that weigh 3 pounds or less, without putting design and user experience at the core of their future developments.

Recent examples of mainstream ultraportables include the Asus ZenBook UX31Toshiba Portégé Z835Lenovo U300. All of these machines rely on Intel’s CULV Sandy Bridge platform and, for better or worse, they are directly compared to Apple’s MacBook Air, which is widely regarded as the benchmark to beat in this form factor and price range.

With that under consideration, here are some key aspects where I believe PC makers should focus and where some are already failing on their first try to deliver a killer ultrabook.

Battery Life

You can thank tablets for the notion that portable computers should last longer than a mere 3 hours on battery. Triple that figure and that’s the kind of expectation that has been building up with every iteration of newer, more efficient notebook platforms in the past decade.

The first ultrabook that arrived to market, the Acer Aspire S3, had a rather poor showing, shipping with an attractive price but a less-than-stellar battery life. Other competing products from Asus, Samsung and Lenovo have done considerably better.


The Aspire S3 was first to market but it failed to impress despite its accessible price point.

The (easy) bottom line: don’t ship a system if it cannot compete on battery life. Go back to the drawing board, charge an extra $50, do what you have to do, but this is one key aspect that can’t be ignored.

Build Quality

Basic hardware that withstands the most abuse should be a main focus. In other words, a great ultrabook needs a great keyboard and touchpad, not mere afterthoughts thrown on top of a powerful processor and fast storage. ThinkPad’s strong and lasting reputation is well deserved after years of offering solid machines that have some of the best keyboards on the market.

In a similar fashion, we’re well past the point where it’s acceptable to ship sub-par screens with poor viewing angles.


The Portégé Z835 is one of the late arrivals to this year’s round of ultrabooks.

To be fair, PC makers are doing remarkably well today compared to where they were two years ago. Build quality on sub-$1000 systems used to be mediocre and netbook-like, but that’s no longer the case for the most part.

The Asus UX31 and Toshiba Portégé Z835 are prime examples of what a well-conceived ultrabook should be. Having that said, there’s still room for improvement.

User Experience

Among Intel’s requirements for ultrabooks are fast boot and wake from sleep times. This usually requires a solid-state drive, which is possibly the best addition you can make to any laptop. Samsung did a remarkable job of optimizing their Series 9 laptops — some of the best in the market even though they’re not “ultrabooks” — and other manufacturers are following suit.

In my opinion, boot times, while important, are heavily overrated. Personally I’d take any system with a 2 minute boot time and 2 second ‘wake from sleep’ over an identical machine that can boot in 30 seconds but takes more than 5 seconds to wake up. Sheer convenience in a modern OS should dictate not having to reboot all the time and instead being able to put your system to sleep and get back to work almost instantaneously whenever you need it.


Samsung’s Series 9 is one of the most refined ultraportables in the market, it doesn’t come cheap however.

Annoying bundled software is yet another element crippling users’ experience. Who needs a Wi-Fi manager on top of Windows built-in tools, trial Office software and security (when you can get Microsoft’s Security Essentials for free), a dozen of so-called services, shopping desktop shortcuts and, wait for it, nagging browser toolbars (!).

Apple is credited for making great products. Even though that may not always be the case, they succeed at making products people love, recommend to friends, and ultimately buy again. Where do you think PC makers stand when they sell a computer loaded with crapware for no good reason? Let’s end this horrible practice once and for all.

Branding and Incremental Updates

Some manufacturers do better than others in this respect. For a while, Acer seemed to have a great run with their Timeline laptop series. The first models were great, but instead of taking what was good and building upon those strengths, they systematically killed the brand by offering many different models with no true differentiation. There was this notion with later models that the originals had a better finish than subsequent releases.

In a somewhat similar scenario, Dell had more than one hit with their XPS notebooks and with the Adamo, but in my mind those are dead brands for premium machines.


Dell has had a few hit designs, they’ve decided not to iterate however.

Sony also comes to mind for poor branding practices. They have offered some of the best premium-priced ultraportable machines in the past few years. The Vaio T series evolved into the TX, TXN, TZ, and today it’s the Z series holding the torch. But is anyone following any buzz surrounding the company’s future announcements in this segment?

In today’s commoditized PC market, Apple’s practice of offering a handful of identifiable products that are updated constantly, and most importantly, building upon what’s good on the first to improve the following year’s model seems to be one valid route to success. You might recall, the MacBook Air was seen as a novelty three years ago, but is now one of Apple’s best-selling computers.

In my opinion, it goes hand in hand: strong branding, building expectations and long-term reputation, then delivering a machine that is always a comprehensive incremental update over its previous generation.


The MacBook Air is now one of the best selling laptops in the U.S.
It’s set to face even fiercer competition come January when a second wave of ultrabooks is expected.

Unfortunately this is hardly seen from most PC makers who try to redo their products from scratch every year, failing to understand what their most loyal customers want updated, and on occasion completely losing the formula of what made the original product appealing in the first place.

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By saddamfazal Posted in Review

Enable Concurrent Desktop Sessions in Windows

Enable Concurrent Desktop Sessions in Windows

Professional and Ultimate editions of Windows come with a built in Remote Desktop (RDP) feature that allows you to access your machine remotely while away from home or the office. Unfortunately, it is limited by default to one concurrent user per session, meaning that if someone remotely connects to the computer, whoever was logged in at the moment will be automatically logged off, even if the user is physically at the computer.

This is not a technical limitation but rather a licensing one. Case in point, Remote Desktop in server editions of Windows by default supports two concurrent connections to remotely troubleshoot or administer a computer. More users can connect simultaneously, too, as long as the machine can handle it with the resources it has available and you have the required client access licenses for that particular server.

However, there are a few reasons why concurrent sessions would come in handy for power users not necessarily running a server. For example, if you have a dedicated Media Center PC running in the living room, you’ll be able to remotely access all files on the machine without interrupting the person watching TV.

Or if you are sharing a computer with other users, concurrent Remote Desktop sessions will allow more than one person use that system under a different or even the same user account, without kicking each other off. By patching a file called termsrv.dll, located in %SystemRoot%\System32\, this is possible in all editions of Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP.

 

 

Download: UniversalTermsrvPatch_20090425.zip (zip File, 66 KB)

Fortunately for us, Internet user DeepXW already did all the dirty work a while ago and posted his Universal Termsrv.dll Patch for anyone to get their hands on. Simply download and unzip the file, then run the corresponding file as administrator (right-click the exe file and select Run as Administrator). For 32-bit systems use UniversalTermsrvPatch-x86.exe and for 64-bit versions of Windows use UniversalTermsrvPatch-x64.exe.

You should see a window like the one above where you can patch termsrv.dll to remove the Concurrent Remote Desktop sessions limit and restore the original file at any time (a backup file is located at ‘\windows\system32\termsrv.dll.backup’). After applying the patch, restart your system and you are ready to go.

 

 

To test it out simply leave a session open on to the PC where you applied the patch, then from another machine try and connect to the computer remotely. If all goes well both users will be logged on and active.

HTML 5 Gaming: Old Classics and Modern Titles You Can Play for Free Today

HTML 5 Gaming: Old Classics and Modern Titles You Can Play for Free Today

A lot has changed since the days when web developers relied almost exclusively on Flash for media-rich interactive content. Although the technology is still very much alive and may not see a replacement anytime soon for certain uses, more and more websites are implementing HTML5for streaming audio and video, and we are also starting to see some applications in the gaming space.

HTML is a markup language for structuring and presenting content on the web. Its latest and still-in-development incarnation adds a variety of elements and attributes that make it easier to include and handle multimedia and graphical content on the web without having to resort to proprietary plugins.

Three elements and related APIs for media introduced by HTML5 are the <audio> element, which allows developers to add in-browser audio to a document or application, the <video>element for in-browser video without the messy  and <object> tags, and the<canvas> element and API that provides a 2D drawing surface which can be used for everything from a simple animation to a complicated game.

Although there’s still going to take some time until the HTML5 specification is final, it is already relatively stable and there are implementations that are close to completion. Recent versions of all major browsers support HTML5 to a large degree, and close to 80% of all videos on the web are encoded in H.264 according to the data from MeFeedia, which means they can be delivered within HTML5’s <video> tag — although for business reasons (read: ads and copy protection) they aren’t always delivered through HTML5 just yet.

As far as gaming is concerned, there are some really impressive examples that could easily rival some of the stuff that has been done on Flash over the past decade. We’ve compiled a small selection of old classics and modern titles built with HTML5 and other open web standards that will give you a taste of things to come.

Old classics ported to HTML5

The classic real time strategy game Command & Conquer was recreated entirely in HTML5, running on 69k of Javascript, by an enterprising developer namedAditya Ravi Shankar who wanted to improve his coding skills.

Shankar took three and a half weeks to put the first build together, combing through the original game’s files in order to get the sprites, sounds and unit specs right. The project is far from complete and there is still some polishing up to do, but nonetheless it’s a great example of HTML5’s potential for games. The game works best in Chrome or Firefox and the source code is available ongithub.

This implementation of id Software’s 1992 game, Wolfenstein 3D, was made using Javascript and the Canvas element. All of the first floor is mapped out, albeit with a few modifications, but it’s more of a proof-of-concept than an actual playable game. There’s no AI for the guards, for example, they just stand around and wait to be shot.

Other famous first-person shooters have also been ported to HTML, including Doom — which was taken down after a cease and desist notice from Id Software — and Quake II. The latter was actually ported by Google employees to show off what is possible with HTML5 in the browser. The game is playable with full HTML5 audio and WebGL rendering at up to 60 frames per second sans plug-ins. It’s not hosted online, unfortunately, but installation instructions are available at its Google Code page. There’s also a video of the game in action here.

Released as a homage on the 30th anniversary of the popular arcade game, Pac-Man, this was Google’s first ever interactive, playable doodle and was so well received by users that the company decided host it indefinitely instead of just for 48 hours as initially planned.

The game is based on HTML5 with a fall-back Flash option for browsers that don’t support it yet. Much like the original Pac-Man, Google had programmed the game to glitch and end at the 256th screen, although it appears to have been cut down to a single level built around the Google logo. Still, a worthy example of HTML5 capabilities based on an icon of the 1980s popular culture.

 

Modern games built for HTML5

Designed to help promote Internet Explorer 9 and the Beauty of the Web campaign, a desktop HTML5 version of the hugely popular Cut the Rope game was made available online for free out of a partnership between Microsoft and developer ZeptoLab. The game is playable on any compatible HTML 5 browser, not just IE.

For those unfamiliar, Cut the Rope feature a green monster called Om Nom that you’ll have to feed candy by cutting and manipulating ropes, airbags and bubbles.It’s highly addictive and has been downloaded millions of times on mobile platforms. This port showcases HTML5 capabilities like canvas-rendered graphics, browser-based audio and video, CSS3 styling and WOFF fonts. Aspiring developers can check their Behind the Scenes page for inspiration.

 

Pirates Love Daisies is a tower defense game based off ‘Plants vs Zombies’ created by Grant Skinner’s studio, which is better known for its work in Flash, and was funded by Microsoft also as part of their Beauty of the Web initiative.

This is one of the better accomplished HTML-CSS-and-JavaScript games to date, with a really polished interface, great sound effects, and a beautiful visual style. Basically, the game requires players to defend their daisies from different type of ‘creeps’ (octopus, crab, rat and seagull) using the most appropriate type of pirate, each of which has a different set of skills and weapons. As players accumulate gold from destroying their enemies, they can upgrade the pirates’ skills or add more pirates. It’s a very enjoyable game. Runs better on IE9.

 

WordSquared is a massive multiplayer crossword game written in HTML5. It’s essentially a clone of the famous puzzle game “Scrabble” on steroids, where you’ll have to create as long a chain of words as possible, scoring lots of points in the process. Users simply use the mouse to drag and drop the letter tiles onto the board.

The original game was created in under 48 hours for the Node.js Knockout competition, which required contestants to create a game or application using HTML5 and the Open Web Platform in a very short period of time. It has since received several modifications, including the addition of achievements and in-game purchases. Dragging the map around you cannot help but be impressed by the size of the board and the word chains already completed.

 

This is just scratching the surface, there are tons of other great examples over atbeautyoftheweb.com and the Chrome Web Store, including the insanely popular Angry Birdswhich we purposely skipped on this article because you’ve probably heard enough about the game already. While we won’t argue that the browser is not the best platform for gaming, we’re still impressed with the potential of HTML5, CSS and JavaScript as an alternative to Flash.

By saddamfazal Posted in Tips

Configuring a Windows 8 Virtual Machine

Configuring a Windows 8 Virtual Machine

With the launch of Windows 8’s Consumer Preview, you’re probably itching to spend some quality time with Microsoft’s latest operating system. Although you may have alreadydownloaded the ISO, we bet some of you haven’t decided how you’re going to install it.

Considering you’ve just met, we assume most of you aren’t ready to clear a dresser drawer for Windows 8. Overwriting your current stable OS with pre-release code could be a recipe for disaster, though at least one TechSpot staffer is taking the plunge.

Dual booting is popular, but in our experience, rebooting into a separate environment is more trouble than it’s worth when you’re just trying to sample beta (err, “preview”) software. The same could be said for using the OS on a secondary PC near your primary rig.

Windows 8 Virtual Machine

Fortunately, running Windows 8 in a virtual machine solves all that: it won’t remove your current OS, you can access it anytime you want without rebooting and it doesn’t require any extra hardware. What’s more, the test OS can be deleted in only a few mouse clicks.

This write-up won’t have much to offer folks experienced with virtual machines, but many users are still intimidated by them. We hope to demystify the process with a guide that installs a fully functional, commitment-free copy of Windows 8 inside your main OS.

So, what do I need?

Not much! You probably want 1-2GB of RAM and 20-30GB of storage allocated to the Windows 8 VM. You need a processor that supports virtualization (basically any major chip from Intel or AMD released since 2006). In other words, you need a semi-modern PC.

Accompanying said hardware, you need to download a copy of Windows 8 (either 32-bit or 64-bit will work fine, but the former calls for half the RAM and 4GB less storage). You also need virtualization software. We’re using VirtualBox, a free solution from Oracle.

Got it. Let’s do this!

Honestly, by the time you’re done, you’ll probably wonder why you even consulted a walkthrough. Configuring a basic virtual machine is a lot easier than it might seem if you’ve never done it. Start by clicking New in VirtualBox and click Next on the first prompt.

You’ll be asked to name your virtual machine. The name is purely for identification purposes, so you know exactly what the machine is later on. We’re using Windows 8 CP 64-bit. You also have to choose the OS you’re installing (hint: Windows 8 or Windows 8 64-bit).

Windows 8 Virtual Machine

The following screen will ask you to set a RAM size. As a minimum, Microsoft recommends 1GB for the 32-bit version and 2GB for 64-bit. We’re heeding that advice, but if you want to try scraping by with less, you can always reallocate more memory to the VM later.

Assuming this is your first VM you’ll have to choose “Create new hard disk” on the following screen. In doing so, you’ll be asked to pick a format. You can leave VDI (VirtualBox’s own format) selected unless you want to run the VM with other virtualization software.

Windows 8 Virtual Machine

Unless you have a specific need for defining a fixed size virtual disk – unlikely if you’re reading this guide – you’re fine with a dynamically allocated disk. This will expand your virtual disk as the virtual machine needs additional space instead of starting at the larger size.

By default, the virtual disk will be created in C:\Users\USERNAME\VirtualBox VMs. If your C: drive is short on space or if you simply want the VM stored elsewhere, you can set it now. My C: drive is an 80GB SSD, so I’m creating the virtual disk on a secondary HDD.

Windows 8 Virtual Machine

It can’t hurt to glance over the settings summary before you proceed, but seemingly anything can be changed later. If you’re satisfied, click Create. Assuming you weren’t met with any errors, you just created a virtual machine — albeit one without an operating system.

Wait. What about Windows 8?

You’re only moments away from installing Windows 8. Right click your new VM and open Settings. In the left column, click Storage > Empty (under IDE Controller) > the CD/DVD icon (under Attributes) > Virtual CD/DVD disk file and navigate to the Windows 8 ISO.

Windows 8 Virtual Machine

Windows 8 Virtual Machine

Once you see the Windows 8 ISO attached under the IDE Controller, click OK to exit Settings. Now you should be able to launch your virtual machine and begin a standard Windows installation. If you’re familiar with that, you shouldn’t need this guide any further.

You’ll be prompted to set your language, time and currency format, and input method. You’ll also have to supply a product key (DNJXJ-7XBW8-2378T-X22TX-BKG7J). Agree to the terms, choose a Custom setup and install Windows 8 to the only unallocated space.

Windows 8 Virtual Machine

The installation took about 20 minutes on my system. You’ll eventually be asked to choose an interface color, a PC name and other such customizations. After playing a round of Twenty Questions, setup should complete and you’ll see the Windows 8 desktop.

Son of a… this won’t work!

Windows 8 Virtual Machine

If you meet the minimum system requirements, you shouldn’t encounter any issues. It’s worth noting that while your processor might support virtualization, the feature could be disabled in your system BIOS. Feel free to seek help in the comments or our forum.

Windows 8 Virtual Machine

I haven’t had any performance issues running Windows 8 with a single CPU core, but you can dedicate more cores in the VM settings window (System > Processor). Likewise, you can allocate more VRAM, tweak the network adapter and configure shared folders.

By saddamfazal Posted in Tips

Windows 8 Tricks, Tips and Shortcuts

 

Windows 8 Tricks, Tips and Shortcuts

 

Windows 8 Consumer Preview cracked 1 million downloads shortly after launching last Wednesday and I’m sure many of you have tried it already. Whether you went with a dual-boot, upgrade, clean install or virtual machine, if you’re coming from Windows 7 you’ll notice significant changes immediately, while others may not be as obvious.

Inevitably, with change comes good and bad — at least until you learn some tricks that get you back up to speed. I know I’ve been hitting my head against the wall when things don’t behave the way they used to. The Start menu’s absence is a perfect example of a radical change. Indeed, the duality of the OS may bring some trouble, but as skeptical as I was, I must admit Microsoft has done a pretty good job of easing many of my concerns.

Metro is undoubtedly very touch-oriented and perhaps a beginner’s dream come true. For experienced users, it seems like Windows 8 still holds some promise. The devil is in the details, they say, so besides experimenting with a clean install I tried the upgrade option to see how well it worked. Going from a year-old Windows 7 install to the Consumer Preview was as seamless as you could ask for.

 

 

File copy dialogs, the task manager and search look better and work faster, and that adds up for an improved experience. I’m not loving Metro on my desktop since there’s little I can currently do with the stock apps, but I wonder if that will be true once my most-used programs take full advantage of live tiles.

Without further ado, here’s a shortlist of Windows 8 shortcuts and useful quick tricks I’ve gathered thus far.

Hot corners

The Start menu is no longer there, but there’s a hot corner that makes up for it (unfortunately on multiple screens it’s somewhat of a pain to use).

  • Lower-left corner + Left click Goes to the Start screen (Metro).
  • Lower-left corner + Right click Power user shortcut menu (Device Manager, Control Panel, Command Prompt, Power Options, etc.).
  • Upper-left corner Shows open window thumbnails, click to switch between them.
  • Upper screen limit + Click & Drag on desktop Move to left or right to snap the current desktop or Metro app to one side of the screen.
  • Lower-right corner Windows 8 Charm menu or Windows Aero Peak.
  • Upper-right corner Shows Windows 8 charm menu.

 


Left or right click on the lower-left corner and you’ll be surprised with
a useful Windows orb replacement.

 

Keyboard shortcuts

Windows 8 is very hotkey-heavy, here are some of the shortcuts I find most useful:

  • Windows key Shows the new Start screen (Metro).
  • Win + type keyword Instant application search (same as in Windows 7).
  • Win + D Standard Windows desktop. Also minimizes/restores all open windows in desktop mode.
  • Win + Q Shows all installed apps.
  • Win + W Instant search for settings.
  • Win + F Instant search for files.
  • Win + I Settings sidebar (control panel, network, volume, brightness, notifications, and more).
  • Win + P Shows multi-monitor options, also useful for connecting an external monitor or projector.
  • Win + X Power user shortcut menu (Device Manager, Control Panel, Command Prompt, Power Options, etc.).
  • Win + Z Shows App Bar in Metro applications.
  • Win + . (period) Snaps the current Metro app to the right side of the screen. Do it twice and it will snap to the left.
  • Win + . (period) + Shift Snaps the current Metro app to the left side of the screen.
  • Win + J Switches focus between snapped Metro apps.
  • Win + Page Up / Down Moves full-screen Metro app to secondary monitor.
  • Win + Left / Right arrow Moves and snaps desktop applications in that direction, or to a different monitor.
  • Win + Tab Switches between open applications. Similar to using the left-upper hot corner with a mouse.
  • Win + L Locks Windows.

 


You can snap Metro apps or your desktop to the side and continue working on the center of the screen.
Another shortcut lets you switch focus between the two.

 

 


Showing all apps at once (Windows Phone style) and searching with a few keystrokes is
the Windows 8 equivalent to the old Programs menu.

 

Get the Start Menu back, orb and all!

Following user posts in our previous Windows 8 articles, I’ve seen some of you wanting to completely get rid of Metro and get the Windows 7 orb back. If that’s the case I’d personally recommend you just stick to Windows 7, but if you already jumped ship there’s a trick to do so as discussed on AskVG.

Updated: A second, improved alternative The clever folks at Stardock have released a piece of software called Start 8 that essentially adds a Start button to Windows 8’s desktop mode. When you click on it you get a Metro-esque Start menu from where you can search and access other settings.

Remove that pesky wallpaper watermark

As we’ve seen on older betas, Windows 8 CP shows a wallpaper watermark indicating it’s not a final build. The lock screen or Metro UI don’t have any similar nagging reminder, and spending a majority of my time in the desktop mode, the message is tacky to say the least. Here’s a solution I found circulating on a few forums:

  • Download this zip file and install the InstallTakeOwnership.reg registry file
  • Take Ownership from the shell32.dll.mui file located on C:\Windows\System32\en-US
  • Take Ownership from the basebrd.dll.mui file located on C:\Windows\Branding\Basebrd\en-US
  • Copy and replace the shell32.dll.mui from the Edited Files to C:\Windows\System32\en-US
  • Copy and replace the basebrd.dll.mui from the Edited Files to C:\Windows\Branding\Basebrd\en-US
  • Close the Windows Explorer window and open the Command Prompt with Administrator rights (remember that Win + X shortcut?)
  • Type mcbuilder, wait for it to finish and reboot.
Other quick tips
  • Drivers Windows 8 won’t suffer the same fate Vista did with drivers. Most Windows 7 drivers will work just fine with the new OS. Nvidia advised GeForce owners to use the readily available 295.73 driver set, while AMD decided to release new Radeon drivers for the Consumer Preview.
  • Recalling storage space after setup Your mileage may vary with a Windows 7 upgrade. It worked great for me but remember this is still beta software. Anyway, if you upgraded you may want to restore files from the Windows.old directory which contains data from your older OS installation and other files used during the setup using the Disk Cleanup tool. Reminder #2: If you upgrade, you can’t revert back to Windows 7.

 


You can recover a few gigabytes worth of storage space if you
clean up after a Windows 8 upgrade.

 

  • Upgrading to Windows 8 Windows 8 will offer a complete upgrade option from Windows 7, but the same won’t be possible if you are using Vista or XP (or the current Consumer Preview for that matter). System requirements for Windows 8 are essentially the same as Windows 7 (which were similar to Vista), so most semi-modern hardware will run it just fine.
  • Metro notifications, turning some of those off Windows 8 encourages you to use a Microsoft account so you can take advantage of neat features like SkyDrive or syncing your OS settings across multiple PCs. However, it will also activate other things like the Messaging Metro app, which looks good, but becomes a nag if you are using a different IM client like Trillian or Pidgin. Windows 8 uses notifications that resembles those of Growl on OS X. You can fully manage, and deactivate the Messenger app notifications from the Settings menu.

 


Windows 8’s notifications look good and serve a purpose, but you may want to be
selective about the programs that can interrupt your workflow.

 

  • Native screenshots in Win 8 Although using a third-party tool like Droplr remains the easiest way to grab and share a screenshot, Windows 8 finally adds a screenshot shortcut that doesn’t require the snipping tool or another program where you can paste the taken image. Win + Prt Sc does the trick, saving a PNG image file on the Pictures folder.

That’s it for now. Did we miss anything important? Have a Windows 8 how-to question? Let us know in the comments and we’ll do our best to come up with a solution.

By saddamfazal Posted in Tips

Microsoft launches Windows 8 today,

Microsoft is officially launching Windows 8 at a special event in New York in less than an hour. In addition, the company will also have its first stab at releasing its own-made hardware in the face of the Surface and Surface Pro tablets.

It’ll be a hell of an event, for sure. Good thing then that it’ll be streamed live by Microsoft.