One step closer to the Windows 8/8.1 you always wanted
There's a scene at the end of Stepbrothers where Brennan exclaims, "You guys finally came to your senses and got us something cool!" He was referring to pirate hats, crossbows, illicit magazines, and other swag uncovered in his and Dale's treehouse, but if Microsoft keeps tweaking Windows 8 the way it has been, desktop users far and wide will be shouting the same thing at Redmond. While nothing is set in stone, it's being reported that internal builds of Windows 8.1 Update 1 enable the boot-to-desktop option by default.
Time is running out for Windows XP users, support for which is scheduled to expire in April. It's been a good, long ride, but now is the time to seriously think about and OS upgrade. You have options, including today's top deal for Windows 8.1 64-bit (OEM) for $80 with free shipping (normally $90 -- use coupon code: [EMCPWHF46]). Windows 8.1 improves upon Windows 8 with a boot-to-desktop option, resizable tiles, and lots of other tweaks.
For other deals that include a Corsair Obsidian 750D full tower case and more, click the "Read More" button!
If you fancy Windows 8.1 and have a deep-seated longing to develop apps for the colorful operating system, you might very well be interested in "Project Siena," a Windows 8.1 app that allows you to create your own apps for the OS. Right now users are relegated to beta status, but it looks to offer an abundance of tools for the creative Windows user.
Looking back at the biggest feature stories of the past year
2013 was a big year for technology, specifically for the enthusiast PC market. We saw a bunch of new high-end graphics cards come out in addition to a new major CPU line from Intel and even a new, updated OS from Microsoft.
New features include New Stories and 320 snap view
Windows 8.1 users who spend a lot of time on Facebook will be delighted to find the social networking app has been updated with a slew of additional features. Given the fact that Windows apps often go ahead and complete updates in the background, these new features may come as a surprise to some users, but for the unenlightened, we'll outline what you can expect the next time you get the urge to look at photos of babies and cats. That's what Facebook is now, right?
Get ready to shell out the cash for the GA release
If you've been using your trusty Windows 8.1 Preview over the last couple of months, Microsoft wants to remind you that it's getting time for you to purchase the full edition. The Preview edition will be ending on January 15th, so you've got just enough time left to purchase a license before your brief look expires.
If you've been sitting pretty with a Windows 8.1 Preview license and have intentions of sticking with it for any length of time, you may want to add a retail copy to your holiday wish list and start dropping hints for your friends and family. Microsoft posted a reminder on its TechNet blog giving users a heads up that the Windows 8.1 Preview license will expire sometime in January 2014, though the Redmond software giant didn't specify an exact date.
There wasn't a ton of movement in Windows market share last month, but what little there was, Microsoft has reason to be both encouraged and perplexed. Starting with the former, Microsoft can feel somewhat encouraged that Windows 8 continues to gain ground, at least if you factor in Windows 8.1. By itself, Windows 8 dropped from 7.53 percent in October to 6.66 percent in November, but once you throw Windows 8.1's 2.64 percent share into the mix, the tally comes to 9.3 percent.
If you still haven't pulled the trigger on Microsoft Office 2013, you might want to think about finalizing your purchase early next year, as the first big update is coming along in the form of Service Pack 1. Service Pack 1 will cover Office, SharePoint, and Exchange 2013 and will be headed to owners as early as the beginning of 2014.
State of the GPU wars, Windows 8.1, and Battlefield 4
On episode #213 of the No BS Podcast we continue our reporting from the front lines of the GPU war between Nvidia and AMD. Next, we break down Battlefield 4's launch issues and compare them to Battlefield 3's. Finally, we ruminate over the arrival of Windows 8.1 and the state of Microsoft before wrapping things up with our editor picks. Gordon then delivers an epic rant on the ever-present anti-PC bias in the media.