Visual Studio 2013 Will Be Released on October 31 for Dreamspark Users

Visual Studio 2013 Logo

Microsoft Dreamspark is a program by Microsoft that allows students and teachers to have free access to professional Microsoft Software. These software include Microsoft Visual Studio, Windows Server, Microsoft Robotics Studio, and much more! Dreamspark users have free access to Visual Studio Professional Editions. This is true for Visual Studio 2013 as well.

While the final version of Microsoft Visual Studio 2013 is available for customers to purchase or obtain as part of MSDN today, Dreamspark users will have to wait a little longer to get the bits. According to the Dreamspark download page, the final version of VS2013 will be available for Dreamspark users on October 31, 2013. That’s about two weeks from the time of this writing.

Visual Studio 2013 Dreamspark Release Date

If you are a student, and you really need to get your hands on the final version before the 31st of October, you can download the trial version of Visual Studio 2013 from here. Then when the bits are available in Dreamspark, you can get it from there. Alternatively, you can install the release candidate version from Dreamspark, and perform a direct upgrade to the final release after October 31st.

Helpful Links

Download trial versions of Microsoft Visual Studio 2013 if you need it now:

Visit the Microsoft Dreamspark website:

Visual Studio 2013 available for download — Blog at MSDN

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Warning! If You Upgrade to Windows 8.1 Through Windows Store, You May Loose The Ability to Refresh and Reset

Ready to Refresh Windows 8 (1)

I am reporting to you with a very important precaution for anyone who has Windows 8 retail and is planning to upgrade to Window 8.1 for free through the Windows Store. This is serious because you may loose the ability to refresh or reset Windows once you do the upgrade, and there is no easy way to fix this, currently. This applies to every one who bought and installed a retail copy of Windows 8 (including those who took advantage of the $40 upgrade offer).

Here’s a quick background on what the reset and refresh functionality is. Basically, it is a “push-button” reinstallation of Windows. The refresh option allows you to reinstall Windows while keeping your files and settings intact, and the reset option allows you to do a easy, once-click, clean install of Windows. This feature is very important, as you might need to reinstall your OS if you are experiencing slowdowns or are infected by a computer virus.

If you have purchased and installed a retail copy of Windows 8 and have upgraded to Windows 8.1, you have essentially lost this crucial feature, Please see below for details on this. Below, please refer to the scenario that applies to you. You either upgraded to Windows 8 electronically or used an upgrade DVD or ISO.

If You Installed Windows 8 Electronically from

Many have installed Windows 8 electronically from Microsoft. This includes many who took advantage of the $40 upgrade offer. If you have done this, the web installer created an ESD file on your hard drive that allowed you to refresh or reset your Windows 8 PC.

The ESD file is located in a hidden ESD folder on your main drive (usually the C drive). It is a few gigabytes in size and provides all the necessary files needed to reset or refresh you PC at anytime you needed. See the image below:

Windows ESD files to refresh and reset (3)

You were also given the option to delete the ESD file using Disk Cleanup if you wanted to free up some disk space, but that would mean you would loose the ability to refresh or reset.

Windows ESD Installation file in Disk Cleanup

After You Install Windows 8.1 Through the Windows Store

When you upgrade to Windows 8.1 through the Windows Store, you are not provided with an updated ESD file. Windows 8.1 cannot use the original Windows 8.0 ESD file to reset or refresh. As such, if you attempt to refresh or reset Windows 8.1, you will see this error message, asking you for the Install media. However, you were never provided the install media and you are stuck! Please see the image below:

Insert Media to Reset or Refresh

If You Installed Windows 8 from a DVD or ISO Image

You might have purchased a Windows 8 upgrade DVD from a retailer. Alternatively, you might have purchased Windows 8 upgrade electronically from Microsoft, but, instead, you might have created an ISO image, burned it to disk and installed it from there. In either case, the following applies to you.

Windows 8 installations that were done through the DVD or ISO can only refresh or reset using the DVD or USB drive containing the installation files. When you need to reset or refresh Windows 8, you will first need to insert the Installation media in your drive and then reset or refresh your PC from PC settings.

After You Install Windows 8.1 Through the Windows Store

When you upgrade to Windows 8.1 through the Windows Store, you essentially get a brand new OS. Therefore, you can’t use your original Windows 8.0 install media to reset or refresh Windows 8.1 if you ever need to. Even if you have your original Windows 8 install media in the drive, you will get an error message when you attempt to refresh or reset your PC, asking you to provide the install media. However, you were never provided the install media and you are stuck! Please see the image below:

Insert Media to Reset or Refresh

Final Thoughts

If you care about being able to refresh or reset your PC for any reason, I suggest you do not yet upgrade to Windows 8.1 until Microsoft comes out with a fix or the community finds a solution to this problem. Of course, one solution is to give Microsoft over a hundred dollars to get a Windows 8.1 DVD, with which you can refresh or reset, but that is not a pleasant solution. We’ll keep you posted when a solution arrives, God Willing.

Report: REALLY Good News is Coming for Future Windows Phone Updates

windows phone 8This may sound like a dream but comments from Paul Thurott suggests that the days of waiting months for Windows Phone updates to be rolled out is over. Now, Mr. Thurott is not saying exactly what it is, probably due to NDA, but he hinted at some very interesting thing.

There are three hints from the Microsoft watcher that should be noted. First is a comment on his blog in response to people blaming AT&T for the delay of Windows Phone GDR3 update on devices such as Lumia 920. Earlier, Microsoft MVP Richard Hay suggested that the delay was not due to AT&T blocking the update but a technical glitch on the update itself, which Microsoft had to fix. Thurott confirms this in the following comments in response to people blaming AT&T for the delay:

“No one is to blame. An unexpected problem came up. It was fixed. It was tested. And then it was released.”

“AT&T wasn’t at fault for this delay and had no way of knowing when the problem would be fixed. It delivered the updates as soon as it got a fixed version of GDR2.”

Now here’s the second, more interesting, comment from Paul Thurott, on the same article. He responds to this reader comment:

“Now we can go ahead and prepare early for complaining about GDR3. :)”

Mr. Thurott responds: “No need for that. Stay tuned.”.

Finally, we have the best hint that suggests that something is really changing in the Windows Phone update front. Mr. Thurott, on What The Tech, responds to the following question by Andrew Zarian. The conversation starts at 20:40 minute mark and ends at 21:27 mark:

Andrew Zarian: “When the next release (GDR3) comes out, would it be coming on [Lumia 520]?

Paul Thurott: “Yes. I can’t say much about that right now, but there’s going to be some good news there….[the lack of updates] aren’t going to be an issue going forward. I’ll talk more about that next week. But that won’t be a problem.”

This quick conversation seems to suggest that something is drastically changing for Windows Phone updates that may put an end to the long delays on getting updates. Paul Thurott says he can talk more about this next week, suggesting that Microsoft might have something to announce along this line!

What are your thoughts on this. I am very excited to see what exactly happens, but if what Thurott alludes to is correct, we might be in for a treat!

Source: Supersite for Windows and What the Tech

This article was first posted on McAkins Online.

Windows 8.1 GA Sneak Peek — Windows 8.1 Apps on the Windows 8 Store

At the general availability of Windows 8.1 on October 18, new apps will flush into the store. Many of these apps are exclusive to Windows 8.1 and are not compatible with Windows 8.0. But how will Windows 8 users see these exclusive Windows 8.1 apps? As it turns out, Windows 8 users can, indeed, see Windows 8.1 apps on the Windows 8 store.

When Windows 8.1 launches, exclusive Windows 8.1 apps will be listed in the Windows 8.0 store with a big banner asking them to update to the new OS if they want to take advantage of the app. This is what it will look like.

8.1 app on Windows 8


As you can see, Movie Moments is an app incompatible with Windows 8. Therefore, users of Windows 8 still see the app on the Windows Store, but rather than an Install button, they have a button that takes them to the Windows 8.1 download page. Microsoft wants to do the best they can in order to promote the new OS as well as get users to the latest version so that developers can target more customers while taking advantage of the latest features and APIs of Windows 8.1.

Source: BUILD 2013

Windows 8.1 RTM Adds A New Desktop Friendly Feature Since the Preview

Windows 8.1 Preview came with a handful of new features that made it easier for desktop users to use the OS, including boot to desktop, combustibility of the start screen to appeal for the desktop usage scenario, and better multitasking. Windows 8.1 RTM adds to the list. Thanks to our friends at Into Windows for discovering this feature.

In Windows 8.1 RTM, Microsoft added the ability to return straight to the desktop after closing metro apps. Currently, if you close all metro apps on screen, you will be taken back to the start screen. In Windows 8.1, you have the option to set it so that once every metro app on a monitor is closed, you are automatically taken back to the desktop. This is useful if you use the desktop primarily and open metro apps once in a while. A good scenario is that you double click on a photo on File Explorer and are taken to the Photos app. Once you close the photos app, you will be returned back to File Explorer; neat!

You set this option from the navigation tab in the Task Manager properties, the same place you set the boot to desktop. Here’s a picture (via Into Windows).


Source: Into Windows

Windows 8.1 May Have Featured App Showcase on the Start Screen

We all are anxiously waiting for the general availability of Windows 8.1 on October the 18th. We are hoping that we will also see some influx of new apps designed for Windows 8.1 and apps that Microsoft has promised us in the 2013 BUILD conference, namely Facebook and Flipboard. Another thing we might find in GA of Windows 8.1 is a new presentation of featured apps on the Start Screen.

The new Windows (8.1)

If you see the image above (acquired from the Windows Website), you will notice that the Store Tile features a more prominent live tile. In Windows 8.0, the Windows Store tile was a live tile, but it would only show the number of app updates available. In Windows 8.1, it appears that the Windows Store is showing featured apps that users can download. You may already know that the RTM version of the Windows 8.1 allows you to set the Store tile to large, and on the picture above, it makes sense as to why one would want to do this. It seems that if you set the tile to large, you can see a collection of featured apps that Microsoft recommends.

Of course, if you choose to do so, you can turn off the live tile for Windows Store, or make it a small tile. You can also unpin a tile, as before. I am personally very excited for this feature, as it allows me to see new editorial app pics without having to launch the Windows Store. Secondly, it looks kind of nice. What do you think? If you are already running Windows 8.1 RTM, let us know if this feature is already available to you.

Update: This feature is not yet available in the RTM release that has been provided to MSDN and TechNet subscribers (as well as Dreamspark Premium users). It is very likely that it is part of the massive post-RTM updates that is coming before GA. All current RTM users will be able to download the updates from Windows Update for free in the near future.

Let’s Run Internet Explorer 4 on Windows 8

Let’s have some fun guys! We are going to run ancient software in Windows 8. This time, however, it’s not any old software but a component of Windows that is almost two decades old! We are going to run Internet Explorer version 4.0 on Windows 8.0. Yes, I am serious! Let’s get to it. Continue reading

Experiment: Running Windows 98 on Windows 7 & 8

Is running windows 98 on windows 7 or 8 possible in 2013? Well first, Windows 98 was released in 1998. That’s a whooping 15 years! We are going to try running this 15 year old bad boy and see just how compatible these operating systems are.

We will browse the web and try installing modern software designed to run on Windows 7 and 8. Is it possible to browse today’s modern web? Can we install today’s applications in Windows 98? How far can we go? Join us, as we venture into the world of a 90’s operating system in the second decade of the 21th century!

Windows 8 Glitch Causes Windows 95 UI to Appear

For some strange reason, I encountered a Windows 8 glitch that did something unusual. Windows 8 fell back to the Classic, Windows 95 style, theme for window boarders, and user interfaces, such as buttons, text boxes, radio buttons, and more.

The Windows 95 UI theme, also known as Windows Classic Theme was finally removed in Windows 8 as an option. Up until Windows 7, users could switch to the Windows Classic UI theme. However, even though the classic theme in Windows 8 is no longer an option, it is still dormant, revealing itself when Windows needs to fall back to something simpler, and old fashioned.

Can’t play the video? Click here!

How To Reinstall Microsoft Office Without the Disc

Were you in a situation in which you lost or misplaced your Microsoft Office Disc and now are unable to reinstall Office on your computer? Ever wonder how you would ever be able to reinstall Microsoft Office It often happens that we may need to reinstall Microsoft office when we buy a new PC or when you reinstall Windows on our old PC. But what if you no longer have the Office installation disc? If you purchased Microsoft office, you can use it forever (this does not apply to the subscription based Office 365).

In this tutorial, we will show you how to reinstall Microsoft Office without the disc. If you no longer have access to your Microsoft Office Installation Disc, here’s how to get you up and running again.

What you will need:

  • A personal computer
  • An internet connection
  • Your Microsoft Office product key (More information below)

Reinstalling Microsoft Office without the install Disc:

Step 1: Locate your Microsoft Office Product key. When you purchased office, wheter you bought it at a store, from the web, or it came with your PC, you were given a 25-digit Microsoft Office Product key. It is very important to keep the Product Key in a safe place and/or write it down. You must have your product key to reinstall Microsoft Office.

Step 2:  Click here to visit the Microsoft Office download page. From the download page, what you need to click depends on which version of Microsoft Office you own. Please follow the steps below for your version of Microsoft Office.

Office 2013 for PC or Office for Mac instructions

Step 3: Click on the green Download button under the main heading “My copy of Office came with a Disk”.

Download Office Link

Step 4: Enter your Product Key. Once you do, you will need to log in to your Microsoft Account. You can create a free account if you do not have one.

Install Office 2013

Step 5: Download and Enjoy

 Office 2010 for PC instructions

Step 3: Click on the green Download button under the main heading “Download or get a backup for Office 2010″

Download Office 2010

Step 4: Enter your Office 2010 Product Key and select your language. Once you do, you may need to log in to your Microsoft Account. You can create a free account if you do not have one.

Key Varify

Step 5: Download and Enjoy

That’s how you how to reinstall Microsoft Office without the original installation media. Have any other Microsoft issues you need troubleshooting? Sound off in the comments below!

Rare and Exotic Windows RT Screenshots

There are only few Windows RT devices around the world, given the sales of Windows RT based devices. However, I want to share some rare screenshots of this already rare operating system. By rare screenshots, I mean the type of screenshots you will not see when you look up Windows RT images on the web. Most images show the start screen, office, and apps. I want to get more obscure and show you many of the desktop apps that ship with Windows RT. Plus, I have screenshots of things that make no sense whatsoever on a Windows RT system. Buckle up and enjoy!

Desktop Apps on Windows RT

Here are some desktop apps that ship with Windows RT. If you have Windows RT, you can take advantage of all these apps!

Attempting to Run External Desktop Apps and Updates

In these screenshots, I attempt to run an unauthorized desktop app both from a graphical user interface and from command line. I also download Windows Powershell help updates for offline viewing from command line.

Epic Fail: Funny Screenshots

Well, here are some screenshots from things that doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. Note that none of these screenshots are fake. They actually are from Windows RT code! We have the ability to uninstall desktop apps even though we cannot even install desktop apps. We have a Windows 7 Start Menu tutorial, and we also have Windows Update attempting to (unsuccessfully) install the Bing Bar a desktop IE ad-on, even though Windows RT cannot install desktop app or IE extensions. Oh, Microsoft, you will always be Microsoft!

Rare Screenshots of Windows RT Apps

You won’t easily find these screenshots of Windows RT apps. Go ahead, and try to find it!

Asphalt 7: Heat – Xbox Game for Windows

Asphalt 7 Cover

Preview and Install



This game allows multiplayer play and is not subject to Xbox LIVE parental settings. Microsoft shares User IDs and gamertags.Hit the speed of heat in the newest, fastest, most visually stunning edition of the famed Asphalt series.A FIRST-CLASS LINEUP
Drive 60 different cars from the world’s most prestigious manufacturers, like Ferrari, Lamborghini and Aston Martin, including the legendary DeLorean.

Gear up to race on 15 tracks set in real cities around the world, including brand new tracks in Hawaii, Paris, London, Miami and Rio.

The completely revamped multiplayer lets you take on up to 5 of your friends locally or online. Keep track of who’s the best with the new Asphalt Tracker that lets you compare stats, show off achievements and challenge rivals. You can also find new online opponents with the matchmaking system. Practice hard, because there are special events that will pit you against the best in the world!

Play however you please with 6 different game modes packed with 15 leagues and 150 different races.

Every car and track is more beautiful than ever thanks to graphics that push the limits of your device.

Acclaimed by both media and players, the Asphalt franchise has already attracted several million players worldwide… Come and join the ride!


Visit our official site at
Follow us on Twitter at or like us on Facebook at to get more info about all our upcoming titles.
Check out our videos and game trailers on
Discover our blog at for the inside scoop on everything Gameloft.

If you install this game, you understand and agree that Microsoft may share your User ID and gamertag with the game publisher to enable game features. This game includes multiplayer features with online interactions that are not subject to Xbox LIVE parental settings. These features may include the following interactions with other players online:

• Send and receive game invites;
• Play cooperatively or head-to-head;
• Send and receive in-game text messages;
• Communicate via in-game voice chat.

Please see the publisher’s site for information on settings it may enable.


  • • 60 cars from prestigious manufacturers, like Ferrari & Lamborghini, including the legendary DeLorean
  • • Beautiful graphics that push the limits of your device
  • • 15 tracks set in real cities, including brand new tracks in Hawaii, Paris, London, Miami and Rio
  • • Revamped online & local multiplayer (up to 6 players) with matchmaking and special events
  • • Social Features: The Asphalt Tracker lets you compare stats, share achievements & challenge friends
  • • Complete 15 leagues & 150 races in 6 modes! Race for the top spot and leave the rest in your dust!


Published: August, 16, 2013

Languages: English (United States), German, Spanish, Japanese, French, Russian, Portuguese, Italian, Korean, Chinese (Simplified)

Minimum System Requirement: Windows 8, Direct X 9.1, 1 GB Ram

Architecture: x86, x64, ARM

Fishdom 3: Special Edition – Xbox Game for Windows

Fishdome 3 Cover

Preview and Install



Enjoy the ultimate Fishdom experience – it’s better than ever!Now all your fish are in 3D and have their own personalities. Feed them, play with them, and watch them interact with each other.

Engage in challenging and fun match-3 gameplay with new unique twists.

- Earn dozens of awards and achievements.
– Choose from over 150 underwater decor items and accessories.
– 8 unique themes.
– Design as many tanks as you like.

Hey, your finned friends are waiting for you – dive in!


  • • • Endless play with 150 unique levels + 50 bonus levels (exclusive to the Windows 8 version)
  • • • 12 fun 3D fish, each with their own personality
  • • • Over 150 underwater decor items in 8 unique themes
  • • • Unlimited number of aquariums to design
  • • • Dozens of awards and achievements
  • • • Use touch or mouse/keyboard controls
  • • • 200 Xbox Gamerscore
  • • • Watch as your fish interact with each other and with you!


Published: Monday, August 21, 2013

Languages: English (United States), German (Germany), Spanish (Spain), French (France), Russian (Russia), Italian (Italy), Portuguese (Brazil)

Architecture: x86, x64, ARM