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Firefox users everywhere, rejoice! Mozilla has announced that they are making available an early preview version of their browser that was built from the ground up for Windows 8.

The browser is an early alpha build called Aurora and the announcement comes slightly after the company announced that the final build of Firefox for Windows 8 has slipped to early 2014.

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Over the last year we’ve seen the quality of Windows 8 applications gradually increase and now that Windows 8.1 is on the horizon, we’re starting to see some unique apps that really set the platform apart.

Newseen is one of these apps, which has a unique view on how to read news and does the job much better than many fully-fledged RSS readers on the internet.

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Google Reader is going away. You have, by now, heard that Google is shutting down its popular Reader program. There are countless programs jumping forward to take the place of the the soon to be departed RSS reader. While Google’s mostly unsupported, at least recently, app is web-based, not all of the alternatives are.

There are both software and web apps that can fill the void, but many are under heavy traffic right now, so do not judge them by the way they currently work. In fact, the one I chose gave me a message upon sign-up that I was almost 47,000 down in the upload queue for my OPML file. After four days, I remain more than 7,000 behind and waiting.

However, that is not my only option, and I intend to test multiple sources for a replacement to my beloved Reader app, and I am looking at both web and desktop-based solutions. First up is a software program called Snackr. I am not sure I want to go with a desktop-based solution, but I am willing to try it.

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Think of web browsers for Windows and it’s the usual suspects that spring to mind – Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, et al. There are plenty of others to choose from, but generally peaking it is the same names that crop up again and again.

Move to mobile platforms and things start to get a little more fragmented. There may not be as many web browsers available for Android as for Windows, but users are often more willing to try something new. One browser that has proved very popular with owners of Android devices is UC Browser HD, and the same app is now available for Windows 8.

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The internet is so vast is can be difficult to know quite where to begin when you go online looking for entertainment. Hit Facebook, Twitter or other social networks and you’ll find links to hilarious pictures, ridiculous stories and news.

But where do people posting these links find these sites? There’s a chance that they have used StumbleUpon, and the new Windows 8 app enables you to discover best the internet has to offer as well.

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It may seem strange that the first thing the store page for Facebook+ Lite tells you is that the app lets you scroll through your newsfeed vertically  - rather than the side to side scrolling that has been adopted by the Windows 8 Start screen and the vast majority of apps.

This may seem like a minor selling point – although the app is actually free – but it certainly gets things off to a good start for anyone who is slightly resistant to the new app format. Facebook is constantly open in a browser tab on my desktop, and I’ll try any app that grants me easy, constant access to the social network.

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There can be few web sites that are as well-known as Amazon; it is the go-to online store for everything from toilet paper to PCs. This is not surprising when you consider the sheer range of goods you can buy coupled with the range of merchants competing for customers and keeping prices down.

There are mobile apps available for iOS and Android, so it makes sense that a dedicated app should also be released for Windows. Amazon for Windows 8 brings the world of online shopping to your desktop in a dedicated app. We take a closer look.

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There can be few web sites that are as well-known as Wikipedia. Whether you want to find out when David Bowie’s first single was release, or need to learn about the properties of cadmium, this is often the first port of call for any query.

With the site being so easily accessible through a browser, you might question the need for a dedicated app, but Wikipedia For Windows 8 shows that there are a great many benefits to working with the online encyclopaedia in this way.

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How many web sites do you visit each day to read the news you’re interested in? Increasing numbers of people are discovering how useful a new reader can be thanks to the fact that updates from all of the sites you’re interested in can be viewed in one place.

News Bento is a streamlined Windows 8 news reader that can be used to subscribe to newsfeeds or used to access feeds you have added to Google Reader.

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Depending on your mood and the type of music you want to listen to, you might turn to one of many sources for audio entertainment. You’ve probably got a decent music collection stored on your hard drive, and you could use iTunes to listen to this.

But what about new music, or tracks that you don’t already own? There are a number of online music services available – such as Spotify, Rdio and Last.fm – so you may find that you’re constantly switching between apps and web sites. This could all come to an end when you start using Tomahawk.

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