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Microsoft made some major changes to Windows Explorer with the release of Windows 8. They finally brought the once hated, but now popular, ribbon interface to the built-in Explorer app. The ribbon toolbar was almost universally panned when it debuted in Office 2007, but by the time Office 2010 rolled around customers had become familiar with it and actually began to at least accept it if not flat out like it.

That is a good thing because the interface isn’t going anywhere — we already know it is included in Office 2013 and Microsoft has also added it to the Windows 8 Explorer app as well.

However, one thing that the Redmond, Washington-based company failed to add was a tab feature. Ironically that seems to be almost universally considered the number one most requested feature by Windows users, thanks to familiarity with web browser interfaces.

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So you have finally decided to trade in your old desktop or notebook PC for a new model. But before you resell or recycle it, you need to ensure that none of the personal data stored on your PC gets into the hands of whoever uses it next.

The quick way, of course, is to just format your hard drive. But if you are reselling the device, deleting Windows 7 or any older version of the OS will diminish its value; after all, your buyer wants a fully functional PC too.

Don’t worry, you can get rid of all your data with the help of a few apps.

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If you are used to using Notepad for general text and script editing, or perhaps have upgraded to some of the other 3rd party text editors, I’d like to introduce you to SciTE. It truly is an excellent all-round text editor, with a quick start-up time (essential), and support for script highlighting and compiling.

Read on for an overview of some of the key benefits of this excellent app.

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OneNote for Windows 8 has just been released, and it’s quite different from previous versions. The only application in the Office suite to make the jump to a Windows 8 app, OneNote is an entirely different beast from the rest of the Office family.

Its features have made it one of the best productivity applications out there for some time. Does OneNote for Windows 8 maintain the best features of its desktop-based predecessors?

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When you’re looking for entertainment, YouTube is a great place to start. Here you’ll find everything from music videos and documentaries to films and TV programmes but you are limited to watching when you have an internet connection.

There are various tools you can use to download YouTube videos so you can watch them offline or transfer them to other devices, but TubeBox is a recent discovery of mine that I wanted to share with you.

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If you’ve got a smartphone or a tablet you may well have considered using it to watch videos. Whether you have ripped videos of your own or acquired them through other channels, the chances are that they are at a resolution that is not optimized for your particular device.

Add to this the fact that videos can be supplied on one of an almost endless number of formats, the scope for something to go wrong or just not look quite right is increased. The aptly named Miro Video Converter can take care of all of this for you.

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I’m a big fan of working with two or more monitors, and it’s something I’ll continue to recommend to everyone who spends any length of time working with their computer. The next best thing is to work with a virtual desktop program to gain access to extra workspace, but Dexpot is an app that combines the best of both worlds.

Even if you already have multiple monitors in use, surely you could still make use of a little extra space or some better organization? As well as being tremendously useful, Dexpot also gains points for being incredibly good looking – this is more than just your average virtual desktop tool.

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A year back, if you’d told me that Microsoft would beat Apple in unifying all your devices I would’ve laughed at your face. Plus, knowing Microsoft of the past, one would’ve expected them to botch it up, even if that were true. When legendary Allard, godfather of Xbox, quit the company, everyone, including me, started screaming that MS’s future is on the brink of destruction.

But this new Microsoft under Ballmer had other plans in mind. It was evident when they launched WP7. It was not just another wrapper on their old broken mobile engine. Rather it was a completely thought through, totally revamped product, focused on improving your experience. It turned out to be one of the best mobile platforms and the user experience is particularly phenomenal.

Still, even for Microsoft, Windows 8 is a greater leap, and far from their comfort zone. Many people are still looking out for the Start button, while others are busy calling names. Amidst all this hoopla, Windows 8 was launched recently and Microsoft has been under incredible pressure. It’s facing a never seen before competition from Apple and Google, threatening to erode it completely. Today we’re going to take a look at the challenges faced by Microsoft.

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Ever get those times after either accomplishing something really awesome or having an exhausting day at work where you want to just sit down, kick your feet up, and play a game that only requires you to do some serious arcade-style shooting? Yeah, I do too. I finally got a chance to do just that today, and I decided to see what kind of new kids were on the block in the Windows 8 App Store.

I was immediately attracted to Violet Storm, which seemed very similar to Asteroids at first glance. In a nutshell, Violet Storm is a free, neon-styled, space shoot em’ up but with more action and power up capabilities when compared to Asteroids. Let’s just say that you could easily lose a few hours playing with this jewel.

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By the time you read this, Windows 8 will have been made available for your general consumption, and pleasure. But, as will be the case with most of us who have been wanting to upgrade, but are fearful of the new ModernUI, how much of a shock will it be to all you future users, when you find yourselves amidst the strange waters of the Modern UI?

Well, I’ve been a guinea-pig of sorts, subjecting myself to the the likes of Windows 8 as my primary operating system for quite a while now.

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