The Electric Wand

Weekly tips from the "Tip o' the Week" email distribution inside of Microsoft.

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  • Blog Post: Tip o' the Week #255 – Rating apps in the store

    The Store was a key innovation when Windows 8 launched, and continues to grow, both in terms of the number of apps published and the way popular and well-rated apps are surfaced. Earlier this year, Microsoft said there were over 150,000 apps in the Windows 8 store, though now the total reported is combined...
  • Blog Post: Tip o' the Week #249 – Sync your Desktop

    This week’s tip comes as a direct result of a conversation had over a glass of wine and a plate of food, with Content & Code’s supremo, Tim Wallis . Most of us who’ve been using PCs for years will have picked up or held onto habits that are probably not ideal, at least not as the designers of the...
  • Blog Post: Tip o' the Week #244 – Ticking away, the time of day

    “ Ticking away, the moments that make up a dull day ” –  even if you choose not to fritter them away , the seconds and the sands of time slip by whether you’re having fun or you’re not. Apple has recently unveiled their long-awaited smart watch , which for fanbois will mean that a Whole New Thing...
  • Blog Post: Tip o’ the Week #226 – Reading Mode on IE11

    Windows 8/8.1 has continued to improve over its life , providing both changes to existing functionality and adding some whole new stuff along the way. One recipient of both such updates is the Internet Explorer browser – Windows 8.1 saw the upgrade to IE11 ( also available on Windows 7 machines too ...
  • Blog Post: Tip o' the Week #224 – Alarem Scarem in Windows 8.1

    If you’ve installed Windows 8.1 Update 1 , there are many great additions which will be  doubtless delighting you as you use them, especially if you’re working on a PC which isn’t primarily touch-oriented. There are hundreds of incremental updates ( more here ) , but there are still bits in Windows...
  • Blog Post: Tip o’ the Week #221 – Stay safe on WiFi

    Following last week’s misty-eyed retrospective on WiFi and Bluetooth , it’s worth pausing a little to pass on a few safety tips too. If you’ve a WiFi network at home which does not have encryption enabled (using a decently strong password – known as a Pre-Shared-Key or PSK – and a modern encryption method...
  • Blog Post: Tip o’ the Week #220 – Wireless networking, 15 years on

    It’s amazing how quickly technology goes from an expensive frippery to a cost-insignificant near-essential. It’s not so many years ago that WiFi and Bluetooth first arrived (remember the Ericsson T29 or T68 , the latter of which not only had a COLOUR screen but came with Bluetooth support – all you’d...
  • Blog Post: Tip o’ the Week #218 – Have you got the touch?

    Using “ touch ” in computing has evolved so much in just the last five years. First phones then tablets evolved a new UI around using your fingers rather than a pointer & mouse, and with Windows 8, touch really got mainstream on regular PCs too. How many times do you prod the screen of a laptop then...
  • Blog Post: Tip o' the Week #216 – Bing Smart Search in Windows 8.1

    Hopefully, everyone who was on Windows 8 should be running Windows 8.1 by now. There’s so much that was improved since Windows 8 released, some very noticeably (such as the return of the Start button, if you consider that an improvement) and some, less so – like all the Enterprise functionality that...
  • Blog Post: Tip o' the Week #222 – Windows 8.1 Update 1 is here

    Another in the occasionally out-of-sequence Tips: since this is quite topical, it’s jumping the queue (as will next week’s tip) before we settle back to ToW #215. It doesn’t seem all that long ago that Windows 8.1 arrived, promising universal salvation from the blight of the empty Task Bar by reinstating...