Friday, May 31, 2013

The Best Resume File Format

The Best Resume File Format:
nullWhat file format should you use for your resume? According to employer surveys, 99% of employers want either a .doc or .pdf file of your resume.

The file format may vary based on the company's applicant tracking system and how you are submitting your resume - posting online or emailing. If you are posting your resume online, there will instructions on which file format to use and how to upload your resume.
Read Full Post


Why Do Employers Check Credit History?

Why Do Employers Check Credit History?:
WarningWhy do employers check credit history? Employers use credit reports to judge how responsible and financially stable candidates for employment are. The results of an employment credit check can hinder your chances of getting a job offer if your credit report isn't top notch, especially when the company is hiring for a position in finance.

What do employers look for and what can hinder your chances of getting hired? Take a look at these credit history red flags that could knock you out of contention for a job.

Read Full Post
Why Do Employers Check Credit History? originally appeared on Job Searching on Wednesday, May 29th, 2013 at 16:00:39.
Permalink | Comment | Email this


How Should I Send My Resume?

How Should I Send My Resume?:
Send Resume

One of the most frequently asked questions I get is "How should I send my resume?" Job seekers aren't sure what file format to use, whether they should send an attachment and, if so, what kind of attachment.
Read Full Post


Frequently Asked Interview Questions

Frequently Asked Interview Questions:
nullThere are some interview questions that you will be asked during just about every job interview.
Read Full Post


What Do You Think About...

What Do You Think About...:
Letter WritingI always am interested in reading the comments and contributions we get from our readers.  There are lots of opinions on a variety of diverse topics including some that, to be honest, I didn't expect.
Read Full Post


Blender 2.67 released

Blender 2.67 released: New in this release is the Freestyle render engine for cartoon rendering and a 3D Print toolbox....


Turn an Old Computer Into a Do-Anything Home Server with FreeNAS 8

Turn an Old Computer Into a Do-Anything Home Server with FreeNAS 8:
Turn an Old Computer Into a Do-Anything Home Server with FreeNAS 8
You've heard the word "server" thrown around a lot, but usually in the context of web sites or big companies that have a lot of data to store. In reality, a server can be just as useful in your home. In this guide, we'll walk through how to create your own home server out of an old or cheap computer that can do all your downloading, streaming, and backup tasks 24/7.



Best Robot Photos of the Week

Best Robot Photos of the Week:

This edition of best robot photos of the week includes a Willow Garage PR2 robot engaged in a light saber duel; there's also a robot wedding cake, assorted robot art, robot underpants, and a vintage Robie Sr robot. Every week we post a collection of the best robot photos submitted by our readers to our flickr group. Why? Because everyone likes to see cool new robots! Want to see your robot here? Post it to flickr and add it to the flickr group. It's easy! If you're not already a flickr member, it's free and easy to sign up. Read on to see the best robot photos of the week!


YouTube's Feeling Lucky

YouTube's Feeling Lucky: YouTube has a cool feature that generates a playlist of 10 recommended videos. Make sure you are logged in and visit this page.

There's even an experiment that places a "play" button next to the YouTube logo, so you can quickly generate the "I'm Feeling Lucky" serendipitous playlist. If you don't like the playlist, click "play" again.

Here's how you can enable the experimental button. If you use Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari or Internet Explorer 8+:

1. open in a new tab and log in

2. load your browser's developer console:

* Chrome - press Ctrl+Shift+J for Windows/Linux/ChromeOS or Command-Option-J for Mac

* Firefox - press Ctrl+Shift+K for Windows/Linux or Command-Option-K for Mac

* Opera - press Ctrl+Shift+I for Windows/Linux or Command-Option-I for Mac, then click "Console"

* Safari - check this article

* Internet Explorer - press F12 and select the "Console" tab.

3. paste the following code which changes a YouTube cookie:

document.cookie="VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE=LVXsOMb_c_g; path=/;";window.location.reload();

4. press Enter and close the console.

To go back to the standard UI, follow the same steps, but use the following code:

document.cookie="VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE=; path=/;";window.location.reload();

{ Thanks, Yu-Hsuan Lin. }


Best Robot Photos of the Week

Best Robot Photos of the Week:

This edition of best robot photos of the week includes a Willow Garage PR2 robot engaged in a light saber duel; there's also a robot wedding cake, assorted robot art, robot underpants, and a vintage Robie Sr robot. Every week we post a collection of the best robot photos submitted by our readers to our flickr group. Why? Because everyone likes to see cool new robots! Want to see your robot here? Post it to flickr and add it to the flickr group. It's easy! If you're not already a flickr member, it's free and easy to sign up. Read on to see the best robot photos of the week!


Better Search Arriving with Windows 8.1

Better Search Arriving with Windows 8.1:
Over the past couple of years, we’ve been lucky enough to work with product teams across Microsoft to include the capabilities of Bing in some of our most exciting products. Whether Xbox, Windows Phone, Office or Windows 8, we’ve begun a journey to make it easier to find the stuff you are looking for and take action on your favorite Microsoft devices. Today we take another important step in that journey, as the Windows team took the wraps off the upcoming release of Windows 8.1.
It’s an exciting release which will bring lots of cool new features to Windows users just a short time after the launch of Windows 8. One of the big investment areas in the release is a new way to think about search in Windows.  We’ve been working hard with the Windows team to reimagine what search can and should mean in the Windows experience. With search in Windows 8.1 our intent is to have one way to find what you’re looking for, no matter where it lives – whether it’s a document on your PC, a photo album in the cloud, an app, PC setting or a website.  In just a tap or a click you can play, view, launch, or browse.
To set the course, we looked hard how people have been interacting with the new user experience introduced in Windows 8.  Search has long been a part of Windows – especially powerful and useful in Windows 8 – where the Search Charm gives you a single place to find content in your apps. People told us they liked the ease of having fewer places to search.  In Windows 8, people could direct their question at an app (like Travel) and have Bing bring back a beautiful, multi-faceted set of information and tools to help them plan their summer trip. But Windows 8.1 takes an even bigger step – with its new search experience, you can find your own personal stuff as well as content from the open web and the creativity of the millions of authors and developers. Modern search needs to be complete and help you find what you’re looking for, whether it’s on your PC, in your top apps, or on the web.
At the same time, the web itself has become more vibrant, more capable, and unimaginably vast, encompassing tens of trillions of web pages housing pictures and videos and the digital footprints of billions of people spread across the world. Frankly, it can be a bit overwhelming. So we knew that completeness on its own wasn’t enough. Modern search needs to be finely crafted and well-organized so that you can not only find what you’re looking for, but you can find it quickly. Modern search is fast and fluid. Just as the best modern apps provide a natural, rich experience, we wanted to bring that same level of intuitive design to accomplishing a broader range of tasks. So we’ve designed an entirely modern search experience specifically for Windows that will begin to unify your online and offline worlds, so you can interact more naturally with the tools you use and the things you create.
We think your digital world should be accessible without having to actually ‘go to search’. Just like few people say they are going to ‘go online’, we want to make ‘searching’ something that’s just there when you need it.  So from the Start screen in Windows 8.1, you can just start typing what you want.  A city.  An artist.  The name of your cat – it doesn’t matter.  As you type, you will see suggestions about what you might be looking for and a quick tap on any of the suggestions will expose you to a whole new way to use Windows.  Regardless of where something lives and what it is – a document on your PC, your photo album in the cloud, an app, a website, a program – with just a tap, you can play, view, launch, browse, and more. Modern search isn’t just about finding information. It’s about using your PC to do the things you love.
We think that your search experience should be beautiful as well as functional and we don’t think the two are at odds. Modern search takes the best of Bing multimedia and brings it into the Windows search experience to create something that’s not only useful and well-organized but also highly crafted. You’ll see rich images across all your search results that help you find what you’re looking for faster and help bring order to the vast information on the web. Modern search needs to be functional, and we think it should also be spectacular.
Imagine you’re planning a trip to Paris.  Simply type the name of the city and you’ll immediately see beautiful, full-bleed images, upcoming events in the city, and popular attractions.  But you can also check the current weather and book a hotel in the Bing Travel app, without having to open it up and type “Paris” again.  In the same way, your itinerary and budget, whether they are saved on your laptop or in the cloud, are right there. And of course, we’ll show you the great web results you’ve come to expect from Bing.  “Paris” isn’t just a single file or a search query in an app: it is a concept, full of both meaning and context, and we’ll bring its unique meaning to your digital life, all in one place.
Windows 8.1, with its new search capabilities, is the first step in moving beyond what search can do today and towards an intent-driven computing experience.  It acknowledges the role of the ever more capable and web and that the things you create and use will be stored across multiple spaces.  Because your computer should be the ultimate toolbox: ever capable, always organized, and ready to help you do and know in a way that feels natural.
- Derrick Connell, Corporate Vice President, Bing


A new inbox that puts you back in control

A new inbox that puts you back in control: Posted by Itamar Gilad, Product Manager

We get a lot of different types of email: messages from friends, social notifications, deals and offers, confirmations and receipts, and more. All of these emails can compete for our attention and make it harder to focus on the things we need to get done. Sometimes it feels like our inboxes are controlling us, rather than the other way around.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Today, Gmail is getting a brand new inbox on desktop and mobile that puts you back in control using simple, easy organization.

On the desktop, the new inbox groups your mail into categories which appear as different tabs. You simply choose which categories you want and voilà! Your inbox is organized in a way that lets you see what’s new at a glance and decide which emails you want to read when.

You can easily customize the new inbox - select the tabs you want from all five to none, drag-and-drop to move messages between tabs, set certain senders to always appear in a particular tab and star messages so that they also appear in the Primary tab.

In the Gmail for Android 4.0+ and Gmail for iPhone and iPad apps, you'll see your Primary mail when you open the app and you can easily navigate to the other tabs.

If the new inbox isn't quite your style, you can simply switch off all optional tabs to go back to classic view, or switch to any of your other favorite inbox types.

The new inbox is rolling out gradually. The desktop, Android and iOS versions will become available within the next few weeks. If you'd like to try out the new inbox on Desktop sooner, keep an eye on the gear menu and select Configure inbox when it appears in the Settings options.


SQLite WinRT wrapper for Windows Phone

SQLite WinRT wrapper for Windows Phone:
The SQLite WinRT wrapper is a CodePlex project that offers lightweight Windows Runtime (WinRT) APIs you can use to access the most common SQLite database functionality. The latest update of the library supports Windows Phone 8 development in addition to Windows 8 development. Download the update to begin accessing SQLite databases in your Windows Phone 8 apps.

Supported functionality

The WinRT API gives you a familiar programming model for implementing the following basic operations:
All operations follow the async pattern – they perform operations on a worker thread, which helps make your database apps fast and fluid. The wrapper also supports exception-based programming, so you don’t need to check the return value from every method call. Note that the API doesn’t support all of the advanced features of SQLite, nor does it attempt to hide the underlying SQL statements, untyped result sets, and so on. It’s designed to provide a very thin wrapper over the SQLite functionality that many people already know and love, rather than to provide an equivalent programming model to LINQ-to-SQL or ADO.NET.


Here’s a simple example of opening a database named cities.db (in the app’s local folder) and then adding the contents of the Cities table to an ObservableCollection. You can then databind the collection to a ListBox or other control.
  1. async void AddToItemsCollection()
  2. {
  3.     // Get the file from the local folder
  4.     var file = await
  5.       ApplicationData.Current.LocalFolder.GetFileAsync("cities.db");
  7.     // Create a new SQLite instance for the file
  8.     var db = new Database(file);
  10.     // Open the database asynchronously
  11.     await db.OpenAsync(SqliteOpenMode.OpenRead);
  13.     // Prepare a SQL statement to be executed
  14.     var statement = await db.PrepareStatementAsync(
  15.       "SELECT rowid, CityName FROM Cities;");
  17.     // Loop through all the results and add to the collection
  18.     while (await statement.StepAsync())
  19.         items.Add(statement.GetIntAt(0) + ": " + statement.GetTextAt(1));
  20. }
Performing a more complex query also is easy – instead of the simple PrepareStatementAsync line in the preceding example, you can use a WHERE clause and a bound parameter (the question mark) to look for cities beginning with the letter ‘c’:
  1. // Prepare a SQL statement to be executed with a parameter
  2. var statement = await db.PrepareStatementAsync(
  3.   "SELECT rowid, CityName FROM Cities WHERE CityName LIKE ?;");
  5. // Bind the parameter value to the statement
  6. statement.BindTextParameterAt(1, "c%");
  8. // Loop through all the results and add to the collection
  9. while (await statement.StepAsync())
  10.   items.Add(statement.GetIntAt(0) + ": " + statement.GetTextAt(1));
Using bound parameters (instead of something like String.Format) provides a much more secure way of accessing a database that is resilient against SQL injection attacks. In addition to simple numbered parameters (as used above), you can use named parameters as well.
The API also supports collection-based access to the returned result, but it’s not enabled by default because it slows down processing and returns all columns as strings (rather than their underlying type). To use this feature, call the EnableColumnsProperty method like this:
  1. // Prepare a SQL statement to be executed with a parameter
  2. var statement = await db.PrepareStatementAsync(
  3.   "SELECT rowid, CityName FROM Cities;");
  5. // Enable access via the 'Columns' property. If you don't do this then
  6. // the Columns property will simply return null
  7. statement.EnableColumnsProperty();
  9. // Now you can access the columns by name (they will return strings)
  10. while (await statement.StepAsync())
  11.   items.Add(statement.Columns["rowid"] + ": " + statement.Columns["CityName"]);

Read-only databases

Many apps contain read-only databases - for example, the list of cities used in the example here, or a list of product categories. These databases typically are deployed to the app’s install folder instead of to isolated storage. This can cause problems if SQLite needs to create temporary tables, indices, or logs: SQLite attempts to create the files in the same directory as the database, but the app doesn’t have write access to its installation folder. (See the debugging note at the end of this post.)
You have two options for getting around this problem. The first is to use the temp_store pragma to force SQLite to use in-memory temporary tables and indices. This option is the easiest to use but might not be practical if it causes your app to use too much memory. The second option is to copy the database from the install folder to the isolated storage folder on the first run of your app. This uses more disk space and adds time to your first-boot experience, but if the database file is small it shouldn’t cause a noticeable delay. This also gives you the option of updating the database if you ever need to (after all, new product categories are created all the time!).
Another feature that needs to be avoided with read-only databases is the journal_mode pragma with a value of WAL (write-ahead logging). Although this has some performance benefits, it will also fail for databases in the app’s install folder since SQLite will attempt to create a journal file there (and fail).
Debugging note. During the development process, Windows Phone gives your app write access to its installation folder to facilitate some debugger operations. Developers typically aren’t affected by this because they’re already conditioned not to write files to the install folder, but it can cause issues if you use a read-only database and forget to set the temp_store pragma. The app will appear to work during your pre-submission testing, but as soon as you submit it to the Store the app will fail because it no longer has write access to the folder.


Temporary Post Used For Theme Detection (40e65829-20d9-44ea-8155-0ee72e47c71a - 3bfe001a-32de-4114-a6b4-4005b770f6d7)

Temporary Post Used For Theme Detection (40e65829-20d9-44ea-8155-0ee72e47c71a - 3bfe001a-32de-4114-a6b4-4005b770f6d7):
This is a temporary post that was not deleted. Please delete this manually. (a482cf82-fea3-435b-a61b-a538e21c3a6a - 3bfe001a-32de-4114-a6b4-4005b770f6d7)


Hands-On: 3072 core Dual NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 SLI Setup

Hands-On: 3072 core Dual NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 SLI Setup:
Today, just a week after the launch of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 GPU NVIDIA launched another awesome GPU: the GeForce GTX 770. I was fortunate enough to get early access to a couple of reference cards, and in this post I’ll give you an overview of this new GPU and also share my first-hand experiences gaming with a dual GTX 770 SLI setup.
GTX 770 Close Angle Connectors 1200

NVIDIA GTX 770 reference graphics card – a very serious looking piece of gear (click to enlarge)
The GTX 770 offers performance that’s relatively close to what the new top-of-the-line GTX 780 offers, but at a more affordable price-point:
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 MSRP: (3GB) $649.00
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 MSRP: (2GB) $399.00
The introduction of the GTX 770 offers a compelling option for PC gamers that want outstanding DirectX 11 gaming experiences and maximum value for their hardware spend. The GTX 770 shares much of the same technology and features with the GTX 780 including:
  • Enhanced internal water cooling design
  • Super-quiet operation with new adaptive temperature controller technology
  • SLI support
  • GPU Boost 2.0
The GTX 770 does offer faster memory (7Gbps) compared to the GTX 780 (6Gbps). This is the first graphics card in production to offer blazing fast 7Gbps memory speed!
GTX 770 Liquid Cooling Hero Reflection 1200

The GTX 770 liquid/air cooling system helps keep temperatures down and runs very quiet (click to enlarge)
Here are some specs for the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770: (full list HERE)
  • CUDA Cores: 1,536
  • Base Clock: 1,046 MHz
  • Boost Clock: 1,085 MHz
  • Single Precision: 3.2 Teraflops
  • Memory Configuration: 2GB or 4GB 256-bit GDDR5
  • Memory Speed: 7.0 Gbps
  • Power Connectors: 6-pin + 8-pin
  • TDP: 230W
  • Outputs: 2x DL-DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort 1.2
  • Bus Interface: PCI Express 3.0
When I read through these specs, I was really looking forward to using the GTX 770 to run some DirectX 11 games on Windows 8. But for this test I would have double the capabilities listed above because I had two cards on-hand. Two GTX 770’s in SLI mode are definitely better than one!
GTX 770 Side By Side Green Back 1200

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 cards used for testing just prior to installation in my gaming PC (click to enlarge)
As expected, installation was easy. I had plenty of PCIe power connectors available, and it took just a couple minutes to insert the two GTX 770 cards and connect the SLI cable. Following boot I installed the 320.18 drivers and was off and running.
GTX 770 SLI Setup in PC 1200

Dual NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 setup – 3072 cores of GPU processing capability (click to enlarge)
Before firing up any games I enabled SLI mode via the NVIDIA Control Panel so that I could use both cards for maximum performance.
NVIDIA GTX 770 SLI Configuration

SLI-mode configuration in the NVIDIA Control Panel
The games I decided to test with this setup were BF3 and Crysis 3. I ran 1920x1080 display resolution on a single display so that I could see how the most popular PC gaming display configuration would perform with the dual GTX 770 setup.
I tested each of these games with the settings that I had configured previously for my old video card, and gameplay looked good. I was curious to see what the GeForce Experience app would recommend for optimized graphics settings, so I ran it to compare “current” versus “optimized” graphics settings for these games.
GeForce Experience Crysis 3 crop

GeForce Experience display for Crysis 3 graphics settings
After clicking “Optimize” in the GeForce experience app, I launched Crysis 3 to see what gameplay would be like with optimized settings.
Crysis3 advanced graphics settings

Crysis 3 advanced graphics settings set by the GeForce Experience app
Crysis 3 looked awesome, and I was averaging about 85fps with this setup, peaking at over 100fps. It was obvious that increasing the display resolution would be possible with this setup without sacrificing the gameplay experience.
crysis3 very high 1920x1080 95fps

Crysis 3 screenshot with FRAPS indicating 95 fps (click to enlarge)
For my second test, I ran BF3 with optimized settings via the GeForce Experience app, again at 1920x1080 resolution.
BF3 graphics settings

BF3 optimized graphics settings
Just like with Crysis 3, BF3 gameplay was awesome and FRAPS indicated fps values averaging about 120 fps and peaking at close to 200 fps.
BF3 ultra 1920x1080 159fps

BF3 running with Ultra graphics settings and showing PhysX in action
During the testing of these games, I didn’t even hear the fans on the GTX 770 cards, and the overall experience was great. The performance was awesome, and I’m looking forward to more “testing” with the new NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770. Want to know more about the GTX 770? Check out the official NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 product page. Starting today you can purchase graphics cards based on the GTX 770 GPU, so check with your favorite local or online retailer for more specifics.
Find me on twitter! @GavinGear


Continuing the Windows 8 vision with Windows 8.1

Continuing the Windows 8 vision with Windows 8.1:
Before we launched Windows 7, we envisioned what the next version of Windows would need to deliver. We made a bet that the PC landscape and industry would undergo a significant transformation driven by an increase in mobility. That bet underscores the changes we made with Windows 8 – it’s a generational leap forward. We built Windows 8 for a world where touch is a first class interaction model, the same as mouse and keyboard; and where there’s a proliferation of innovative and diverse devices that are highly mobile, always on the go and always connected. Windows 8 was built on the reality that the lines between our work and personal lives have blurred.
We’re only a bit more than seven months into this new, bold approach to computing. The response to Windows 8 has been substantial— from new devices to strong app growth to key enhancements to the OS and apps. We’ve learned from customers on how they are using the product and have received a lot of feedback. We’ve delivered hundreds of updates to the product and to apps. We’re just getting started, and the potential ahead is tremendous.
Windows 8.1 will advance the bold vision set forward with Windows 8 to deliver the next generation of PCs, tablets, and a range of industry devices, and the experiences customers — both consumers and businesses alike — need and will just expect moving forward. It’s Windows 8 even better. Not only will Windows 8.1 respond to customer feedback, but it will add new features and functionality that advance the touch experience and mobile computing’s potential. Windows 8.1 will deliver improvements and enhancements in key areas like personalization, search, the built-in apps, Windows Store experience, and cloud connectivity. Windows 8.1 will also include big bets for business in areas such as management and security – we’ll have more to say on these next week at TechEd North America. Today, I am happy to share a “first look” at Windows 8.1 and outline some of the improvements, enhancements and changes customers will see.


In Windows 8.1, you’ll be able to do more to personalize the experience on your device. As people started using Windows 8, we found that people were using their Lock screens to show pictures of their families. So in Windows 8.1, you can turn your PC or tablet into a picture frame by making your Lock screen a slide show of your pictures – either locally on the device or photos from the cloud in SkyDrive. We also added the ability to take pictures with the built-in camera right from the Lock screen without having to log in.
Start screen High res
Windows 8.1 offers more colors and backgrounds for the Start screen – including ones with motion.
Start with wallpaper High res
You can even choose your desktop background as your Start screen background, creating a greater sense of unity and familiarity. And the Start screen in Windows 8.1 features a variety of tile sizes including a new large and new small tile, so you can organize your Start screen exactly the way you want it. It’s also even easier to name groups and rearrange tiles. You can now select multiple apps all at once, resize them, uninstall them, or rearrange them. We also found people were accidentally moving tiles on their Start screen so in Windows 8.1, you press and hold (or right click) to move things around.
You can view all apps just by swiping from the bottom to view all apps, and we’ve added the ability to filter your apps by name, date installed, most used, or by category. You want the Start screen to be about all the things you love. So when you install a new app from the Windows Store, we no longer put that app on your Start screen. Instead, you’ll find these apps under apps view as mentioned above and marked as “new” where you can choose to pin the apps you want to your Start screen.


In Windows 8.1, the Search charm will provide global search results powered by Bing in a rich, simple-to-read, aggregated view of many content sources (the web, apps, files, SkyDrive, actions you can take) to provide the best “answer” for your query. We think this will really change the way you interact with the Web and with windows making it quicker and easier to get things done. It is the modern version of the command line!
Search High res
Quick actions include things you would want to do like play a song or video. Results from local files, apps, and settings are easily accessed in the same convenient view by scrolling to the left.

Apps and Windows Store:

We will be improving all our built in apps that come with Windows 8 for Windows 8.1. For example, the Photos app now has some new editing features that lets you quickly edit or adjust photos when you view them in the Photos app or open them from other places like the Mail, SkyDrive, and Camera apps. And our Music app has been completely redesigned to help pick and play music from your collection. We plan to talk more about updates to the built in apps in Windows 8.1 and some brand new apps we will be introducing in a future blog post.
We’re also making improvements for using multiple apps at once in Windows 8.1.
Multitasking High res
Windows 8.1 brings variable, continuous size of snap views. You will have more ways to see multiple apps on the screen at the same time. You can resize apps to any size you want, share the screen between two apps, or have up to three apps on each screen if you have multiple displays connected, you can have different Windows Store apps running on all the displays at the same time and the Start Screen can stay open on one monitor. This makes multi-tasking even easier. Also in Windows 8.1, you can have multiple windows of the same app snapped together – such as two Internet Explorer windows.
The improved Windows Store in Windows 8.1 is designed to show more info than in Windows 8 with detailed lists of top free apps, new releases, and picks for you on the homepage. The app listing is more descriptive and informative and includes an area for related apps to help with app discovery. Categories are listed with other app commands such as links to your apps and your account information. App updates install automatically in the background as well as they come through the Store. And search is available in the upper right hand corner for finding the apps you want.

Cloud Connectivity:

In Windows 8.1 your files can be saved directly to SkyDrive, so you can always have your files with you.
SkyDrive High res
The new SkyDrive app gives you access to your files that are on your device or in the cloud, and files are accessible even when offline.
Also, when you log on to your Windows 8.1 device with your Microsoft account ( by default), your device magically becomes personalized with your settings and apps, making switching or setting up a new device really easy.

PC Settings:

The updated PC Settings in Windows 8.1 gives you access to all your settings on your device without having to go to the Control Panel on the desktop. You can do things like change your display resolution, set your power options, see the make and model of your PC, change the product key, let you run Windows Update, and even join a domain – all from PC Settings. You can even manage SkyDrive from PC Settings as well and see how much available storage you have (and buy more if needed).

Internet Explorer:

Web browsing continues to be one of the most popular activities on any device. That’s why with Windows 8.1, you also get Internet Explorer 11 (IE11). IE11 builds on the advancements in IE10 and is the only browser that is built for touch. IE11 will offer even better touch performance, faster page load times and several other new features we think you will enjoy. For example, you can now adjust the appearance of modern IE11 to always show the address bar and you can have as many open tabs as you like. And you can access your open tabs in sync across your other Windows 8.1 devices.

Better Mouse and Keyboard Options

PCs today are evolving for a world of mobile computing where people interact with their devices through touch, and we designed Windows 8 for this. But we also recognize there are many non-touch devices in use today – especially in the commercial setting. As such we’ve focused on a number of improvements to ensure easier navigation for people using a mouse and keyboard.
We’ve improved the way you navigate to Start with the mouse by changing the Start “tip” to be the familiar Windows logo. The new tip appears anytime you move the mouse to the bottom left corner of the screen, and is always visible on the taskbar when on the desktop. There are also options to change what the corners do, and options to boot into alternate screens. For example, if you prefer to see the Apps view versus all the tiles, you can choose to have the Start screen go directly to Apps view.
These are just some of the updates coming in Windows 8.1. We’ll be blogging more about these and other changes in the coming weeks. As you’ve heard us talk about before, Windows 8.1 will be available later this year as a free update for consumers to Windows 8 through the Windows Store the same way customers get app updates today.
Beginning June 26th, and timed with the start of Build, our developer conference, you will be able to check out these improvements for yourself with a preview of Windows 8.1 that will be released. At Build, we’ll also be sharing more about Windows Embedded, which will be updated in the same timeframe as Windows 8.1. We’re aligning the platforms even more to bring Windows to form factors of all types, including not only tablets and PCs, but also the growing category of industry devices such as ATMs, point of service (POS) terminals, and kiosks.
Windows 8 has been a bold, necessary move towards mobility for the PC industry – pushing ourselves and our industry ahead with a touch-first approach that is redefining the PC as we know it, while offering the best of all worlds across any device at any time. Our commitment to that vision – and to always improving - remains the same as we stay the course of the evolution of Windows with Windows 8.1. We’ve been watching, we’ve been listening; Windows 8.1 will continue to build on what you love bringing the latest advancements in hardware, apps, cloud services and the OS to enable a unique experience in everything you do.
More to come. Thanks for reading.
Antoine Leblond,
Corporate Vice President, Windows Program Management