8.1 reasons to go with Windows 8.1

When Windows 8 launched last year, it flipped the script on how you look at your desktop – and your Start button. Now, with the big, recent update to Windows 8.1 there are a LOT of reasons to like what’s new. Here are some of our favorites:


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1 – The Start Button is Back


With the new Windows, the Start button has returned (sort of).  Look on the bottom left corner of the screen, and you will see a Windows logo. Clicking on it (or the Windows key on your keyboard) will take you right into the streamlined Windows 8 Start screen. Click it again to go back to Desktop mode.


1.1 – (Right-Click that Start!)

But when you right click that Windows logo, it is the mother of all shortcuts, leading you to everything you’d need to access quickly deep within the guts of Windows 8.1





2 – Multi-Device Finesse

Windows 8.1 was built from the ground up to seamlessly sync your apps and documents across all your Windows 8 devices. So if you’re working from an all-in-one desktop like the HP ENVY Recline23 in the home office, the next time you fire up your Windows 8 laptop (or x2 hybrid) it’s all there waiting for you. Regardless of your Windows device, your apps and settings will always be with you. See more details on how this works by clicking here. (hyperlink to Multi-Device article, Flight 2)


bing smart search.jpg

3 – Bing Smart Search


With Windows 8, Bing Smart Searches are designed to provide you with useful, visual results in an instant. Just start typing directly from the Start Screen… no browser window required. Take a look here (hyperlinked to Bing Smart Search article, Flight 3) for more detail.


boot to desktop.jpg4 – Boot to Desktop

Spend most of your time in Desktop mode? Now you can boot right to it, again. Here’s how:

  1. Click on the Desktop tile on the Start screen
  2. Right-click on the Taskbar,choose Properties
  3. Click on the Navigation tab
  4. Put a check mark in the When I sign in or close all apps on the screen, go to the Desktop instead of Start and click Apply.



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5 – Auto App and OS Updates

Windows 8.1 makes it easy to keep your OS up-to-date and secure via Windows Update. There’s no need to check for operating system updates because it does it for you behind the scenes. Even better, the new Windows lets you automatically update all your Windows 8.1 apps. That means no more need to check the Windows Store just for app updates. To enable this:

  1. Tap or click Store from the Windows 8 Start screen
  2. Swipe from the right or click on the bottom right corner of the screen with your mouse, then click Settings
  3. Tap or click App updates
  4. Set Automatically update my apps to Yes


customize start.jpg

6 – More Customizable Start Screen

The new Windows makes it easier than ever to make your Start screen your own. You can now move multiple Tiles to anywhere on your Start screen by a simple press and hold to select, then drag them where they fit best. You have more options to resize Tiles (Small, Medium, Wide and Large) so you can get more information from the Tiles you use most. Beyond that, it’s also easier to group tiles and give them a unique name so you can divide them up into sections that work for you (Work, News, Games, Entertainment, etc). Quick Pro tip: The main Start screen shows all your favorites. If you swipe up, you’ll see all the apps on your PC. You can hand-pick from there which ones you want to be bigger and in-your-face when you hit the Windows key.


7 – OS-Level SkyDrive Integration

SkyDrive is an integral part of the new Windows. It is free online storage that you can access from any of your devices, even from Windows RT, Android, and iOS-based tablets and smartphones. Since it’s tightly integrated into Windows 8, SkyDrive is like an extension of the laptop or desktop storage you’ve been using for years in the past. Easily access your SkyDrive files across all your devices and on your PC in desktop mode or via the Windows 8 Start Screen. PRO TIP: Also make sure to right click on your SkyDrive folder if you want to stash your files locally on the PC as well.


8 – The Perfect Excuse For a Shiny New Machine

However you prefer to get your Windows on, HP’s got you covered, from slick new touch-enabled Ultrabooks (LINK to Spectre 13 Ultrabook) and All-in-One desktops (LINK to ENVY Recline23) to sleek tablets (LINK to Omni10), powerhouse desktops (LINK to ENVY Phoenix), and even laptops that you can control with a wave of your hand (LINK to ENVY Leap Motion). See our Selecting the Right Computer article for more (You can find that RIGHT HERE).



Visit hp.com/newwindows to explore more ways HP + Windows 8 can take your PC experience to a whole new level, or feel free to check out HP + Windows 8 products.

Labels: how-to| HP 411
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