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windows 8

Computer users living in the US are somewhat spoilt for choice when it comes to watching TV online, but anyone living in the UK does not have such a good deal. A few video streaming services do exist, but these will almost always involve entering a contract and paying each month.

TVCatchup – despite the arguably confusing name as this service is now concerned solely with live TV – is a web site, and now Windows 8 app, that can be used to watch dozen of free-to-air TV stations, free from subscription and charges.


Windows Media Center was an aspect of Windows that never really took off – there were always several other tools that did much the same job in a much more satisfying way. With the release of Windows 8, Microsoft saw fit to drop the tool altogether (although it’s still available as an addon).

This means that there is now more incentive than ever for developers to produce decent media management tools, and for users to seek them out. Multimedia 8 is one of the first media center-style tools that’s worth taking a look at.


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.


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.


I’m a big fan of Google products, and for many years I’ve used the web versions, since they’ve met my needs as well as or better than native apps have. When I upgraded to Windows 8, I quickly found an acceptable mail substitute with the default Mail program. My Google Reader was not replaced so easily.

While I’d tried over a half a dozen RSS feed readers for Windows 8, all of them were shoddily made or lacking in features. But finally, I’ve found one that improves on the default web interface of Google Reader: NextGen Reader.


In the world of web mail, Yahoo – with or without the superfluous exclamation point – has always been viewed as something of the black sheep of the family. Gmail is the cool older brother, while Hotmail/Live Mail was the sibling you were kind of forced into getting along with.

Having rather fallen by the wayside in recent years, Yahoo’s email service has undergone a makeover and there’s a brand new Windows 8 app to go along with it. And, believe it or not, it’s looking pretty good.


Windows 8 Start Menu Customizer Does What It Says On The Tin

What’s the first thing you think of when you think about Windows 8 – try not to be too rude now? The majority of people will immediately think of the new Start screen, or at the very least the fact that there is no longer a familiar Start menu to work with.

If you’ve made to switch to Windows 8 and you’re finding the Start screen a little restrictive and tricky to get to grips with, or you’re thinking about upgrading but have a few concerns in this area, Windows 8 Start Menu Customizer could be the tools you’ve been waiting for.


EnhanceMy8 – A Powerful Maintenance Utility for Windows 8

One thing Microsoft can be counted on is propping up third-party software companies. After all, every time the company launches a new version of the Windows operating system an entire ecosystem of new apps begins popping up around the web. Windows 8 has already proven to be no different, especially with the plethora of options that have cropped up to give users access to that Start menu that many users seem to think that they just can’t live without.

Aside from the missing Windows 95 relic, Windows 8 has provided coders with the chance to design all new maintenance and utility apps and EnhanceMy8 is one of the latest to come along. The app comes with many of the usual tools included in any Windows maintenance utility, but it is geared towards the brand new OS.


Upgrading to a new operating system brings the risk that your apps suddenly no longer work. That concern intensifies with moving to Windows 8 because of the big change the operating system represents compared to earlier version.

The large number of changes to the visual looks could cause some apps problems and with ever operating system change there is always the risk of a small change that breaks some special functionality your program depended upon to work. Many people also need to continue using programs they either cannot or choose not to upgrade, but won’t work under Windows 8 — in a few cases a program doesn’t recognize the newer version of Windows and simply refuses to run.


We find ourselves in an interesting transitional period. For those who have just switched to Windows 8 from Windows 7 or below, the sudden absence of the start menu is jarring. We feel lost, and just don’t know how to work the operating system as effectively as we did before.

Now, for the most part, a lot of us have learned to operate anew, but for a lot more of us there’s still that itch. That itching to keep the start menu around for a little while longer. Pokki’s here to scratch that itch.


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