Best Windows 8 Apps

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jmazz

to-dos is a great app, lets you add to-dos to a metro tile.

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RandomInt

Pique. It's "pique your interest", not "peak your interest".

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jimmthang

You have peeked my interest with this comment.

...jk. It's changed. Thanks! 

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_Jono_

Anyone else just upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for a 64 bit desktop system and suffer from apps just closing before starting up? I have a muilti-monitor(2) setup and my Windows 8 experience so far has been anything but seamless. I click on say the LivingSocial app and it remains on a loading screen 2-3 seconds and kicks me out to the desktop. This is the case for about 2/3 of the apps I try to start up. Playing a game is another nightmare. I had World of Warcraft on my main monitor in windowed mode at full screen with Windows 8 start screen on my second monitor. No issues at first, but now the task bar decides it wants to overlay the game screen and I have no other option but run the game in Fullscreen mode, forced to minimize the game to browse online. Ont top of that minor issue *sigh* The game now also crashes completely, kicking me out to the desktop and showing no indication that it was open in the task bar. I start the game again and try to log back in, and 5 minutes later, the previous fullscreen game comes back out of no where and voila now I have two games running! In other cases it will repeatedly flash back and forth from the desktop to the fullscreen game noting some error with the Nvidia GeForce 260 card. So i update the driver to no avail, even though before updating, the Nvidea site advises me the driver is up to date. So, I'm thinking I have to bite the bullet and wipe the drive and start with a clean slate. Maybe that's the only way I can get on board with Windows again. I love the Windows 7 Phone. Apps go unsupported, but I know the design is worth sticking around for. Why do I get this feeling that there are two separate groups that work on a Windows OS? It seems like it's becoming a sure thing to count on every other OS to be a PoS and only XP, 7, and 9 will be worth upgrading to. I think this last OS is putting me out of the early adopter bracket. Tired of getting burned.

...and - Skype. 64 bit desktop version of skype works like a charm, just like it used to. Why we don't have free screen sharing anymore and Macs do continue to have it is beyond anything logical to me but that isn't my issue with Skype in Windows 8. In Windows 8 Pro it's basically running two Skypes, so I have to disable the run on startup for the desktop version. The app version is only 32bit. It does not detect my camera. So I have to run the desktop version. No problem. I start it up and when I receive a call I get two notifications!! Skype desktop gives me the usual ring, and Skype App from the start screen decides it will keep ringing, even after answering on the desktop. I am forced to acknowledge two different notifications.

This experience should have only ever made it to the RT version for tablets. Windows Phone 8 for phones. Windows RT for tablets. And Windows 7 for desktops/laptops. Keep it simple stupid. Do i have a favorite app? The only thing I can get to run without complaint, Cut the Rope

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big_montana

Did you perform and upgrade install or a clean install to Windows 8? If an upgrade install that could be your problem, as I am running Win8 64 bit and am having none of the issues you are experiencing as my Win 8 experience has been flawless. The only one issue I had was when I switched internet providers to Comcast to save money and all their crapware was force don my laptop and performance went to hell. After uninstalling everything my laptop returned to normal.

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lordfirefox

First of all. Uninstall the App version of Skype you only need one version of Skype. You've essentially installed 2 Skype apps which is why both of them ring when you get a call. Uninstall one of them.

Secondly, I can still Share Screen for free on the Desktop version of Skype for Windows 8. And it's still free on Windows 7 as well.

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Ghok

There are tons of apps that I play with on my iPhone that I'd love to be able to play with on my PC. At the same time, I'd never give up the functionality and features I get from a desktop computer. Fat chance I'm ever going to get to play with my iPhone apps on my computer, of course... but it does say to me that Microsoft's idea of merging the two ecosystems is a good one... just so long as it's a mode you can toggle back and forth from. I love the idea of being able to go to a mode that's more like the mode you get on a smartphone or tablet (but I'd NEVER want it to replace the desktop). It'd be great for when I use my PC to watch movies and TV and stuff. I'm also excited for capacitive touch being used on desktop PCs. So much potential for awesome there.

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Mediziner

The problem with playing smartphone games on a PC is that fact that they are optimized for small touchscreens and usually very causal. Causal games on a PC may sound good in theory, but seriously, wouldn't you rather be playing Crysis 3 @ max than Angry Birds?

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Khaotic

So, what's the difference between an APP and a PROGRAM?
Office is a PROGRAM suite or an APP suite?

CPUID is a PROGRAM or an APP?

VLC Media player; PROGRAM or APP?

IMHO: I think the words are interchangeable. Users today want to call everything APPS. Folks that have been using PCs for a while, we call them PROGRAMS.

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TheBludge81

Totally with you on this.

I HATE the word "APP". Over it...

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Renegade Knight

They are all software. Apple introduced applications and call them Apps and because it was shorter than software and program (and Prog never caught on) it won out in modern vernacular.

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chart2006

I consider apps as software that has very limited capabilities or a very specific purpose while programs are diverse and have a wide range of capabilities. The office suite is a good example while one version is this several gigabyte executable that houses a huge array of capabilities with considerable compatibility and the other is... not so much...

To me it's like comparing a general purpose CPU to that of an embedded processor that was designed for a very specific purpose which reduces complexity, power consumption, and capabilities. Generally speaking software designed for a desktop is designed in a way for capabilities and performance optimization while software designed for a mobile platform revolves around the idea of limited resources thus small in nature, capability limited, and with power optimization.

Now defining where those two meet one another is a gray area for me. I consider any software designed for the mobile place as an 'app' while software designed for a PC/MAC as 'programs' (even if Apple still calls them apps).

This is just my take on the whole conundrum of apps vs. programs.

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gothliciouz

i know right!...who started to call them app anyways?.yeah and this list should include all the programs like moh: warfighter, nfs:most wanted, etc. or are those apps not compatible with win 8? yeah those apps are not the best.

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wolfing

Unfortunately the media is making 'app' the word for basically any application that can run on your phone. For phones that can run Windows programs, they'll probably call them 'apps' too.

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Teeebs

What, no "Restore Windows 7 App"?? Don't look now, but Micro$oft has their hands in your wallet again.... :(

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abowlofsoda

The hive mind is hard at work lately.

I did an in-place Windows8 upgrade. Worked great without issues. Nice not having to reinstall everything. $40 was a great price. My system is snappier now. Had to add the start menu (Start8) back in order to function without being annoyed. But once that was done I was back to normal feeling like I just got upgraded to Windows 7.5.

I love how polished and smooth they made everything and I like all the new upgrades even tho I don't have much use for Metro unless its to hold my infrequently accessed programs that I don't want to fill up my Taskbar with. I rarely even go to Metro and feel there is no need to even disable it as I'm not going to see it unless I somehow accidently hit the Windows key- not that I would freak out- its pretty slick- just seems useless to me. The apps seem gimmicky on a desktop- I guess they are useful on a touch device.

The meat and potatoes to me are the upgraded Task Manager and how easy it is to sort things in all kinds of ways to weed out resource intensive apps. The new file explorer ribbon is just awesome and makes me more efficient in my workflow. Having a Taskbar on my 2nd monitor is something I've wanted for a long time. Its really changed how I work. And the little things like opening an RAR, the OS tells me there a list of other programs I can use, including File Explorer to open it. No use for WinRAR anymore.

Everything just works a little bit better then it did before and I'm completely happy with it and MORE productive in my work.

The hate machine is hilarious. How silly we have gotten in society where we concentrate all our emotional energies on something so trivial as a new OS.

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MarioJP

I love it all. from the start screen, to the new polished desktop. I especially Love the file transfer. Lot of glitches that were on 7 of how file gets transfer are gone in 8. And In the win app store, are useful. You're not being forced into one thing or the other so the hate machine is going to die down once people give it a second chance.

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Strangelove_424

"You could strike sparks anywhere. There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right, that we were winning. . . And that, I think, was the handle—that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn’t need that. Our energy would simply prevail. There was no point in fighting—on our side or theirs. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave. . . .So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Silicon Valley, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark—that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.”

- Hunter S. Thompson (slightly modified)

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froggz

I upgraded 2 laptops. My cable box replacement using Windows Media Center and my gaming Laptop. For laptop with MCE, I absolutely hate Windows 8. It cost me an extra $10, for the exact same thing I was getting for windows 7, but worst of all MCE does not launch automatically during boot. For my gaming Laptop, it took me a while to get into the groove of using Win8. The best way I can describe it to is to compare to a house that has a living room, a family room and a game room. Were the hell am I going to be hangin out? Well, after a few days of using it, I found Metro to be like owning a tablet simulator for windows 7. Great for casual use of my laptop, browsing the news, reading email, and playing around with different apps to waste time. For serious business, like playing real PC games, and other boring stuff like work stuff, then the old style desktop is were is at.

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spacespeed

Now that you have the Windows 8 Kindle app on the list, why not try making the Kindle version of the Maximum PC magazine available on it? (It's actually one of the few things stopping me from buying a digital subscription so far - oddly enough, the Nook version can be viewed on a PC...)

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someuid

8 of the 18 apps highlighted here are Microsoft apps.

Three video playing apps.

Two note-taking apps.

Some social media stuff.

No games listed? Not even one?

Man, the Windows app word is a freakin' ghost town of boredom.

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MarioJP

Windows 8 is rock solid. Very amazed how efficient this OS really is. And has a bonus (though hidden) feature. It is called "windows to go" This means I have windows installed on my Western Digital passport USB drive. Making it the ultimate fixer upper when it comes to fixing PC's :)

Windows 7 can do this too, but not without some USB registry hacks. Windows 8 makes it official and no registry hacks needed.

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Scatter

This post really feels like a stealth Microsoft ad to me.

And really? Things like Google, Netflix, & Skype are considered "apps" now? Whats the difference between an "app" and the million of other programs that run on an operating system.

Should World of Warcraft be considered an app because it runs on Windows 8?

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jimmthang

Hey Scatter, I'm sorry you feel like this reads like an Microsoft ad (it's really NOT). Yea, it doesn't make all that much sense to download these apps if you're using a desktop PC, but if you've got a touchscreen Windows 8 laptop or a Surface tablet, these apps are much more convenient. 

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MarioJP

" Yea, it doesn't make all that much sense to download these apps if you're using a desktop "

Actually it does. I been wanting some sort of applications that relies less on the browser and more interaction with premium services. Prime example of this is the Netflix App. Sure one can argue just make a shortcut to Netflix and save your login info but the experience between the browser and the App is not even debatable.

Second example is those all in one instant messaging apps which seems to be popular in the mobile world. Especially IM+ App which was only available on smartphones and tablets and that was the only way to get this app. Win8 has changed this and the IM+ app is available for download in the Wapp store. Now i can finally say goodbye to the web version.

So basically..Windows 8 is a desktop OS with Smartphone/Tablet built in. Its like a dessert after eating a big meal so to speak lol.

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RUSENSITIVESWEETNESS

Another advertisement. Or spin. Or PR firm tripe. Whatever.

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MarioJP

The way i look at it is. Apps is just a tiny version of the "big" program. Which is fine. Just having the ability to have Apps on your PC alone, conjunction with its "bigger brother" is what makes it better than 7. I have found apps that i never thought i will see, be on your computer. Pretty cool. With that being said. If windows was a game. Then Windows 8 would be the expansion pack of Windows 7. The expansion packs are always better lol.

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Scatter

The term "app" is noting more than a catch phrase IMO. Apple and Android has an "app store" so Microsoft had to have one and they're going to call every program that runs on Windows an "app" now so they can make the worthless claim that there are more "apps" on Windows than any other platform.

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Peanut Fox

I thought the word app was just short for application, which is just another way to say programs.

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MarioJP

Is this one of these case scenarios where it falls in the "PC" Vs "Mac" because "PC" really stands for "Personal computers" which has no relevance of what OS my "PC" is running category?? *sigh* Lmao!.

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weavil

metro is w/e

listing skype on this list BS. i love how while im on a call in skype in metro and i want do w/e on desktop the call gets muted wt shit is that.

im not hating on metro it has a lot of nice ideas, but definitely feels like it was rushed.

windows 8 isnt amazing, and its not the end of the world, its just w/e.

can't complain too much considering this was only $15

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BernardBlack

Windows 8 rocks. Look, I've been a PC enthusiast since 1994/95 on my IBM Aptiva. I'm also in IT. The idea of replacing the Start Menu with a full-screen Start page/ full-screen version is sweet. You really don't need a desktop, I never stored/ housed a bunch of shortcuts there anyway, as it would come off as a cluttery mess. You have document folders to litter for that. The tile thing is sweet and orderly and things are actually much faster to access, considering all you can pin there. It forces things to be quicker to access. I have all my tech tools pinned to the right e.g. file browser, powershell (cmd), computer, control panel, remote desktop, etc. etc. and all the entertainment stuff to the left e.g. Xbox Glass (this is a sweet feature, remote into your Xbox), PowerDVD, IE, etc. etc.

Performance-wise there is also a gain. My overclocked FX8150 runs at 4.6ghz, as it did in 7, however, it runs even more snappier. I guess this shouldn't be a huge surprise, considering AMD promised 10-15% performance increase with FX processors, under Windows 8. My only gripe is how the crap on the left hand side of the screen get in the way. The live task viewer side-bar (if that's what you can call it). I may research disabling the lower-left start page thumbnail that pops out, since all you need to do is hit Start on your keyboard.

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Peanut Fox

I remember my family's old Aptiva. How far have we come!

Also. Compton's encyclopedia was way better than Encarta.

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gmvolk

I bought my old Aptiva into work and use it to run some simple kitting programs to get parts out of stock. That thing has been around and then some.

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EKRboi

I was a HUGE windows 8 hater. I have religiously been using beta/RC's for windows since 95, to at least check them out as soon as I could get my hands on them.. except for windows 8. I jumped on the hate bandwagon as soon as I caught a glimpse of metro. I did not so much as download an iso and even think about trying it out. I finally downloaded it the other day and made an image on my SSD so I could get back easily and then installed win8. I must say that I was COMPLETELY surprised to find that I liked it after I got use to a few things.. On first boot in its "stock" form it will make you feel like most peoples grandmas feel when they try to check their email for the first time. I felt kinda lost when thrown into metro..

For me though I spent about an hour just clicking/swiping around and once you get yourself out of metro its very familiar, missing some things but familiar. Stardock start8 is a MUST and helps fill in most of the holes.. once you have that you can boot straight to desktop and you have a start menu that is just like win7. If you use widgets on your desktop like I do you will quickly find MS decided to kill them for whatever reason. A quick google search for "win7 widgets in win8" will fix that right up.

Once I had win 8 fixed up with the things MS should have had in it in the first place I have pretty much felt right at home.. but better. It boots FAST! like 9 Mississippi's from bios beep to windows desktop fast! Im running in EFI mode with an older SATA2 ssd.. cant wait til I get a SATA3.. sometimes on boot I dont even see the "windows loading" screen, its post screen > black screen > "windows welcome" (basically blinks with no password login turned on) > desktop.

The new task manager is awesome, the file transfer dialogs are awesome, Windows Explorer is tons better IMO once you get use to it. And believe it or not.. metro is awesome once you figure it out. There is very few things I can see using it for on a desktop.. but this weekend I plan to upgrade my HTPC from 7 to 8 and thats where its going to shine. Im an XBMC lover.. but things like pandora radio or hulu plus turn into a hassle sometimes when they decide to upgrade things and the scripts quit working.. and sometimes it takes a while before they get working again.. enter hulu, slacker radio, pandora in metro.. and as easy as it is to switch between say metro and XBMC, I think its going to be AWESOME.. and so easy I bet your girlfriend can do it.

This post turned out way longer than I intended.. sorry for that. All Im saying is I was a hater and now not so much. Give it a try.. MS is giving away 90 day trial so go load it up in a VM at least and spend an hour or two simply poking around. VMware Player is free so what do you have to lose.

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xeones

Evernote is so useless. I got it thinking it would be great to synchronize notes between my iphone, pc, and windows phone. Anyways, i transferred all my notes to it before i discovered it won't even load if you don't have a connection to the internet. So forget reviewing your notes on the plane.

Onenote is way better and it's free. I only comment on this because i am still angry at the evernote people for wasting my time.

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vistageek

I think these roundups are quite useful. I am running windows 8 (with metro removed), so I don't care about these things, but I know these type of articles are handy for android, as I have an android phone. If I had a windows 8 tablet, this would be handy. Stop hating people, you don't have to read it.

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MarioJP

I don't know about you but i love the win-app store. Having the Netflix app is a better more experience than just watching through the browser. as far as metro goes. Much better than the start menu. Would give it another chance before you ditch metro.

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RUSENSITIVESWEETNESS

Hourly pimping of the OS for retards...think I'll be letting my subscription crash, after all.

I have to laugh when you pay lip service to the faults of the OS while struggling desperately to promote sales.

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jimmthang

Hey Rus,

This is Online Managing Editor Jimmy Thang here. I'm not sure what you meant by Maximum PC "pimping" out the OS or tryint to "promote sales." We're hardly being compromised here. This week we're offering an entire week of Windows 8 upon Microsoft's new OS. Yes, we know Windows 8 certainly has its problems which we've addressed plenty, but a lot of you guys are still going to switch over to it and we want to write articles that will help you guys make the transition easier. 

Tis all. If you have any further questions or comments for me, please let me know!

Thanks,
Jimmy 

 

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RUSENSITIVESWEETNESS

I think I'm just misdirecting my rage for Microsoft and Steve Ballmer at this point. Sorry.

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jgottberg

I appreciate the coverage the MaxPC is providing for Windows 8. It's the latest Microsoft OS! Last I checked, a Microsoft OS still runs on roughly 85 percent of PC's. Doesn't mean we all have to adore it but at some point, as PC enthusiasts, we will all use it to varying degrees.

If MaxPC DIDN'T provide insight on Windows 8, another online publication would and as a result, MaxPC may lose 85 percent of the readers that will eventually be using the OS.

Thanks MaxPC for the coverage, I know I'm not the only one the appreciates it.

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Ashton2091

+1

I was going to respond with a similar comment. MaxPC has always covered the latest Windows OS. If they didn't, it wouldn't be MaxPC. Most technicians (like it or not) will need to know their way around Windows 8. I didn't care much for Vista (which was fine after patches), I still had to run it for a while, so that I could provide Support to my customers.

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TheMissingPiece

Oh no! I hope we don't get too many "Best Apps" articles in the magazine or website, for that matter. It seems every mobile/Android/Apple enthusiast magazine does it every month.

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joshnorem

You don't have to worry about it. We're just trying to help people who just installed Windows 8 and aren't sure where to start. We will probably update our list as time goes on though. 

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Scatter

I don't get the "don't know where to start" thing.

You start by doing whatever it was that you were doing on your PC when you had Windows XP, Vista or 7 installed.

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Neufeldt2002

Agreed, everyone will have their own idea of best apps anyway. As an example I wouldn't use over half of the items listed here for various reasons so to me they are not even a contender for a best app title.

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gmvolk

If I were to go Win8, I don't think I would call any of these as best apps by a long shot. Surprised you didn't throw a faceyspacey app in there as well. What exactly do these apps give me that the regular program would not? Why would I need a Bing or Google search app, when I could just launch my browser and search from there? I use Skydrive as storage/backup, I see no use in having a separate app for this just to browse what I've dumped in there when skydrive already integrates quite well with windows explorer. As Neufeldt2002 has said, everyone has their own idea of what constitutes a best app. I don't think I would want any of these apps, of course I am also not ready to go Win 8 either, I'll hold out until I need a new PC. After further study, and reading lots on Win 8, it does have potential IF MS can pull it off. I would rather see two or more SKU's though, some strictly for tablets/touchscreens and some strictly for non-touch system(ie no metro).

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jgottberg

Hey Gmvolk

No disrespect but you may be missing the point. Apple became huge by appealing to the lowest common denomenator. MS is trying to get onboard by offering a similar experience. I'd like to think of myself as a power user that doesn't need a cute, colored tile to launch an application but there is obviously a market for it. Can't blame MS for trying to get in on the action. After all, they are not an NFP.

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gmvolk

No disrespect taken, I do understand that MS is trying to get on the Apple/Google app bandwagon. I see no point in having an app for something that I can already accomplish. I too am a power user and don't go for the cute factor. I would rather use keyboard shortcuts to get things done than have colored tiles all over the place, heck I'll even use the command line or the start/run box 90% of the time to launch a program. MS is trying to make things easier for the lowest common denominator, which is why a lot of power users won't jump on board Win 8 right away.

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