SMB Nation Blog

SMB Nation has been serving the Bainbridge Island area since 2001, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

My First Date with Windows 8.1

windows 8one networkI’ve always had a wandering eye for sexy user interfaces (UI). For it was I who worked on an early Apple Lisa computer when the IBM PC ruled. I quickly followed by purchasing an original Macintosh and salivated at the famous 1984 Super Bowl commercial reflecting the Orwellian “Big Brother” message of shattering conventional wisdom, and the MS-DOS view of the world. I raised the flag for the Windows NT Advanced Server release in the early 1990s when my fellow NetWare red heads sneered at the “comical” UI. We’re at the point again in our IT history. Windows 8.1 is here complete with the Start button the early “eight haters” missed so much.

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Windows 8.1 is Ready – Download Now

Windows 8.1A day ahead of retail availability, you can now download Windows 8.1 from the Windows Store. There are many important reasons to do this. First – you’ve got your START BUTTON back! And there is the Lock App screen, helpful hints including the new Help+Tips app, new Mail app, improved People view, new desktop themes, improved power menu, IE 11 reading view, improved tracking protections, more disclosure in Express settings, and SkyDrive acts as a local file manager. Plus there are a lot of internal programmatic patches/fixes and updates but these aren’t as dramatic as you might think. Why? Because the reality is the periodic updates (yes – where you reboot your machine or it automatically does so in three days) incorporate patch pacing – a different paradigm from Patch Tuesday. Does that make sense?

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Microsoft SkyDrive Pro Updates

office365We recently received news from our contact at Microsoft concerning changes to the SkyDrive Pro cloud storage for business system.  There are three main updates that are designed to simplify use and adoption of the SkyDrive system.

First, Microsoft announced that they are upgrading all user accounts from 7GB to 25GB of storage. Office 365 developers, Mark Kashman and Tejas Mehta explained in a blog this week that the overall storage per user would be 25GB of SkyDrive data, plus 25GB of e-mail data, plus 5GB per mailbox you create, plus total available tenant storage. 

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