Install Windows 8.1 with your Windows 8.0 Key

Windows 8.1 Download Featured

There was a time we users were extremely frustrated because we were unable to install Windows 8.1 using any Windows 8.0 product key. This was a nonsensical decision by Microsoft because Windows 8.1 was a free upgrade to all Windows 8.0 users, and, furthermore, Windows 8.1 could be activated using a Windows 8.0 key. But that same key couldn’t be used to install the OS. One had to obtain a Windows 8.1 key. Fear not, folks. The times have changed, as we can now install Windows 8.1 using our 8.0 product key. Continue reading

Download Windows 8.1 Without a Product Key

Windows 8.1 Download Featured

Note: This article is about downloading Windows 8.1 without a product key. To install the OS, you will still need to provide your key during installation.

If you have lost your copy of Windows 8.1 and need to reinstall Windows on your PC, the good news is that Microsoft now allows you to download the OS without even requiring a product key. Even if you do have your original Windows installation media, you still might want to take a look at this because you will get most of the recent Windows updates integrated with the installer. Read on to see exactly how to do this. Continue reading

Windows 10 Media Controls for Desktop Apps

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In Windows 10, Microsoft seems to be extending the modern media playback controls to desktop apps. In Windows 8, if you changed your PC’s volume using a hardware volume button on you device or on the keyboard, you got an on-screen volume control display. If you had a modern (Windows Store) application playing a media file, you got an on-screen playback controls in addition to the volume control. This feature was mostly aimed at touch tablet devices running Windows. It is also similar to how Windows Phone behaves. With Windows 10, this functionality seems to be extended to desktop applications as well. Continue reading

Enable the New Engine in IE in Windows 10 Technical Preview Build 9879

IE Icon

Windows 10 comes with an updated version of Internet Explorer that includes a new rendering engine, and in Build 9879, we can switch between the old and new rendering engines. Brad Sams from Neowin notes that, according to his sources, Internet Explorer in Windows 10 will ship with two different engines. One will be the engine from IE11 and will have legacy components to allow older websites to work and the other will be an updated engine that is more lightweight and modern. Sams explains that website in compatibility mode will use the older engine while everything else will use the newer engine. Continue reading

Windows 10 Will Bring Touch Friendly Context Menus to the Desktop

Responsive Context Menu Featured

With Windows 10, Microsoft will bring dynamic context menus to the desktop. In Windows 8.x and earlier, context menus on the desktop and desktop apps are too small to tap with the finger comfortably.  In modern apps in Windows 8.x, the context menus were large enough to tap, but some might have found it too large to use with the mouse. Continue reading

Exclusive: Win10 Action Center is now Security and Maintenance

In preparation for the fireworks that Microsoft has in store for us January 21st coming year, I thought to cleanup my desktop install of Windows 10 Technical Preview Build 9879. The build on my desktop has become flaky and unpredictable, most especially around File Explorer and my profile. I was tired of repairing my profile and as I am not sure I can trust the environment anymore with the coming goodies from MS, I decided to spare myself the headache last week and completely reinstalled Build 9879. Wipe and Load if you know what I mean. Continue reading

Announcement: New Partnership with Windows on Windows

Channel Art - Windows on Windows XP

Hi, this is Nazmus Khandaker, the associate administrator of McAkins Online. I have some great news to share with our readers. I am pleased to announce a new partnership with Windows on Windows.

Windows on Windows is a YouTube series that explores the development of Microsoft Windows operating systems. It is run by a user named MajorSky17. He takes beta builds of various releases of Microsoft Windows and does a demonstration of them through videos on YouTube.

So here’s what is happening with the partnership Continue reading

How to Install Windows 98 — Video Tutorial

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Need to install Windows 98 on an old PC? Trying to run an old software on a Windows 98 virtual machine? This video demonstrates how to install Windows 98 as well as devices drivers for Windows 98.

I install the OS on a VMware Virtual Machine, but the steps should work on a real PC too. I installed Windows 98 recently on my 13 year old PC, and it went flawlessly.

You need to make sure, however, that you have the drivers for your hardware; otherwise, you may be stuck with a bad experience, such as lack of sound or low color depth and screen resolution. Enjoy the video. If you have any questions, please leave a comment, and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible, God Willing. Continue reading

Windows 8.1 Update 1: Multi-Window Taskbar Thumbnails for Windows Store (Metro) Apps

We kicked off our information about Windows 8.1 Update one with new taskbar features coming to Windows Store apps, namely the Jumplists and media controls. Today, I want to share with you another neat feature I uncovered. Windows Store (metro) applications running in multiple Windows show up in the taskbar as multiple windows. This behavior is the same in Desktop Applications since Windows 7. It is nice to see that it is being included in Windows Store applications. Continue reading

Windows Store UI Updated With Top Categories and Subcategories

Windows Store Logo

Microsoft has silently added a handy new user interface to the Windows Store in Windows 8.1. The Windows Store in Windows 8.1 updates differently than does the other parts of Windows. This is because most of the Windows Store’s user interface is delivered from Microsoft servers. In laymen’s term, the UI for the Windows Store comes from the internet; it is not loaded from your computer’s hard drive. This makes it possible for Microsoft to update the Store without having to go through Windows Update. Basically, you don’t have to update Windows to get the new updates and features to the Windows Store! Continue reading

Get Paid Apps and Games for Windows 8, Windows Phone, and Xbox for FREE!

Bing Rewards

With the introduction of Windows Store gift cards, you can now put money in your Microsoft account balance and use it to get paid apps in games in Windows Store, Windows Phone Store, or the Xbox Store. Well, did you know that Microsoft is giving everyone FREE gift cards? It’s True! All you have to do is use Bing search!

 

Every time you search on Bing, you will get points. These points rack up, and you can use them to get gift cards that you can use to get paid apps and games from the Windows Store, Windows Phone Store, and Xbox Store (both for the Xbox 360 and Xbox One). You will see various gift cards. But the good news is that redeeming these gift cards puts money in your Microsoft Account that you can use to get apps and games from any and all stores. For example, if you get a Windows Phone gift card, you can use that card for Windows Phone apps or even Xbox One Games. Conversely, you can use your Xbox Gift Card to buy Windows 8 apps! You can also mix and match.

You have to first enable Bing Rewards. Once you do, you will start earning points for searching. If you are a new user, you can do some starter quests to get lots of points quickly.

Click here to join Bing Rewards and star earning points

Please note: If you click the link to bing rewards above, I may get a one-time bonous of some bing points. This post is NOT an advertisement of any sort.

App Highlight: Podscout for your Podcast addiction

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Preview and Install

Are you in a shopping mode for a good Podcast App in the Windows Store? Well, look no further as we bring you another awesome app for your Podcast needs. Podscout promise to bridge your information world by bringing you the best of Internet News media, all collated for you for easy access.

Podscout is a full featured Podcast app with the following description and features:

Description

podscout has the most significant features for an ambitious podcast audience.

Subscribe your favorite podcasts by searching in popular catalogs like iTunes and gPodder or easily adding a podcast feed URL. Dependent on your settings. podscout updates the subscriptions and downloads the latest episodes automatically. So you can play episodes online and offline.

podscout is not only a simple media player to stream video and audio podcasts. podscout further supports stepping through chapters, reading shownotes and play episodes to other devices. podscout brings a sleep timer to pause the playback after specific time span and keeps playback position even after suspending the app.

With podscout you can back up your subscription database to SkyDrive and restore them on other devices. You can easily share your subscriptions and episodes through the Windows share charm.

With background audio playback capability podscout enables you to listening podcasts while working on Windows 8.

The app supports a trial mode. While in trial mode, the app display ads. If the trial mode expires, the app will not start anymore and the user has the ability to purchase the app.

Features

  • optimized for Windows 8.1
  • search podcasts through iTunes and gPodder
  • manage Subscriptions and easily browse through Episodes
  • adjust Settings for each Subscription
  • step through Chapters if local media or podcast feed supports it
  • read Shownotes in web view if podcast feed supports it
  • use background audio playback capability
  • play to other devices (DLNA)
  • watch videos on full screen
  • backup and restore the Subscription database with SkyDrive
  • share Subscriptions and Episodes through the Windows charms bar
  • use sleep timer to automatically pause the playback
  • add Secondary Live Tiles with badge notifications for each Subscription

And here are few more screenshots to whet your appetite:

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Podscout gives you a chance to test out the app for 15 days of trial period. If that is not enough to convince you, then I don’t know what will. Let op, a long period of trial period is an attestation of the confidence of the Developers that you will love the App so much you’ll purchase it. For $5.00, we are sure the app is worth your every cent.

Download the app now via the Source link below.

Source: Windows Store

Microsoft Updates Windows Store to Show Really Large Screenshots

Microsoft has quietly updated the Windows Store in Windows 8.1. The update is server side. That is, you will not need to update your operating system to see the changes; it is automatically available for all users of Windows 8.1. What is the update, you might ask? Basically, the screenshots in the app landing page are huge! It actually looks pretty nice. Before this update, the screenshots were much smaller, and you could see more of the panoramic view of the Store. But now, with the much larger screenshots, most of your screen is used by the app screenshots.

Here are some screenshots. Note that the resolution is 1920 by 1080. Before the update, I observed the app screenshots to be much smaller and I could see more stuff on screen than I can now.

Flixter App Landing Page

Windows Store Large Image

McAkins Online App Landing Page

Why Metro UI Doesn’t Have a Name (Original Article from Summer 2012)

I had originally written this article as a guest-post on newoin.net on August 2012. To see the guest post, please click here.

Montreal Metro Sign

According to Microsoft, Windows 8 is “a bold reimagining of Windows, from the chipset to the user experience.” This reimagining, then, brings a completely new user interface to Windows 8, an UI that is a    complete departure from any previous versions of Windows. And since the first unveiling of Windows 8 and throughout its public preview releases, this new UI has been referred to, by the community, as the Metro UI because it follows the Microsoft’s design language that was known as the Metro design language. Microsoft itself referred to apps running on the reimagined Windows 8 platform (WinRT) as Metro Style apps. Why, then, isn’t the term “Metro” ever referred to in the operating system itself? More importantly, why does Microsoft officially refuse to name the new, reimagined, user interface?

According to Paul Thurrott in Windows Weekly podcast episode 274, when asked, Microsoft personnel would gladly call the classic desktop as the Windows 8 desktop, but they would never call the new UI by any particular name. When asked explicitly what the name of the new UI in Windows 8 is, they just called it Windows. So basically, we have the Windows desktop and, simply, Windows, and not desktop and Metro. At first, this seems quite strange because why would there not be an official name to the new UI in Windows 8; I will admit that I was quite confused by this as well. However, given some time to think about this, I am able to understand what Microsoft is trying to get at.

The trick to all this is to approach Windows 8 in a fundamentally different way. That is, we must not think of Windows 8 as having the Metro UI on top of the Windows 7 desktop, but rather, we should approach Windows 8 as having the Metro UI as the primary UI with desktop as the secondary option. Conceptually, Windows 8 is Metro plus desktop, and not the other way around.  Technically, Metro is not primary nor secondary because both desktop and Metro is part of explorer.exe. But if we conceptually see the Metro UI as the primary Windows user interface, there is no need to really call it anything but the Windows UI. For instance, we don’t call the UI in Windows 7 the desktop UI or the Aero UI, but, rather, we call simply call it the Windows 7 user interface. This is the same with Windows XP, or Mac OSX. We call OSX’s Aqua user interface by, well, OSX user interface. The same principle applies to Windows 8, if we consider metro to be the primary UI. Metro, then is the Windows 8 UI, and because the desktop is now secondary in Windows 8, the classic Windows UI in Windows 8 is given a name of “desktop”.

Paul Thurrott does bring up a valid point that term Windows 8 UI is time bound, whereas something like Metro is timeless.  That is, when, say, Windows 9 is released, the term Windows 8 UI will make no sense. I completely agree with this argument. I believe the proper name of the Windows 8 UI is Windows UI. In Windows 7 and prior, for example, the tem Windows UI represented what is now the classic desktop. There was no need to call it Windows 7 UI or Windows Vista UI because the UI paradigm was the same in these versions of Windows. Because the UI paradigm is changing in Windows 8, the metro UI in Windows 8 is being referred to as “Windows 8 UI” rather than simply “Windows UI” for differentiation. However, I do think that in the future, the new Metro UI will simply be referred to as the Windows UI. I believe in the future, when we hear the term Windows UI, we will think of what is now called Metro and we will refer to the classic UI as the desktop. Similarly, we will soon refer to Metro Style apps as Windows Apps and the traditional Windows apps as Desktop Apps.

Windows 8 is as much a transitional OS as it is a reimagining of Windows. Hence, terms such as Windows 8 UI or Windows 8 Apps are only temporary, which will eventually be replaced by broader terms such as Windows UI and Windows Apps. Metro, or Modern, or whatever they are calling it these days may be still referred to the design language itself, just like Aero or Aqua is.

Download Windows 8.1 ISO Using your Windows 8.0 Key

Folks, we have some GREAT news for you! A Microsoft community member have figured out a loophole that lets you download Windows 8.1 using your Windows 8.0 product key! The community member’s name is Tom. Here’s his tip.

Easy Steps to get Windows 8.1 ISO

Step 1: Go page and click on the “Install Windows 8″ button. http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/upgrade-product-key-only

Step 2: Run the file and enter in your retail Windows 8.0 product key. Click Next.

Enter Windows 8 product key

Step 3: It will show you the version of Windows that is to be downloaded. Click Next.

Ready to Download Windows

Step 4: Download should be started. Cancel the download immediately by clicking the X button on the upper right of the setup Window.

Downloading Windows 8

Step 5: Go to this page again and, now, click on the “Install Windows 8.1″ button.  http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/upgrade-product-key-only

Step 6: Run the file and it should say “Download is interrupted”. Close it and run the file again. It should now start downloading Windows 8.1.

Downloading Windows 8.1 50%

Step 7: Once the download is complete, you will be given the option to create an ISO file. Do this and you now have an ISO file that you can use at your disposal.

You can now also use this ISO file to burn to a DVD or USB and use it to refresh or reset your PC! This is great to see the community members stepping up to make up for the stupidity of Microsoft not willing to give its paying customers an ISO file.

Thanks to Tom for finding this awesome workaround! Here’s Tom’s original forum post: http://www.eightforums.com/installation-setup/33164-how-download-windows-8-1-iso.html

This post was originally published in McAkins Online