Windows 11 New Features: User Interface

One of the biggest updates to Windows 11 will be the Start menu and Start button which will be placed front and centered on the task bar. The menu opens to pinned apps, “recommended” recent documents and a search bar. Live tiles are gone.

What Microsoft called “snap layouts” will give the user different window layout options. This will allow users to automatically arrange up to four open windows on their screen without manually moving and resizing them.

A new feature called “Snap Groups” will save a collection of apps a user was using and their layout. This allow users to quickly shift gears between different arrangements which are focused on different tasks. If using a docking station or switching between monitors at work and at home the snaps will reload as soon as a monitor is plugged back into the computer.

Another task oriented preset feature is saved desktops with personalized wallpapers. You could have one each for say school, home, work and gaming.

The entire system will get a graphic update with founded corners on windows and icons and a return to some Vista-like translucent layers for certain windows.

Windows widgets will bring personalized, AI-powered feed of information from weather, traffic, news and more. However, it won’t be all that different from Cortana and the Interests app on Windows 10.

Blast from the Past!

By now, you are (hopefully) running the latest Windows OS (if you’re not a MAC). Here is an interesting page from Richmond University for their faculty staff from 1998 – back when Windows 95 was the latest Windows OS. It shows how to open or close a window on the Windows 95 OS. Very retro.

In case the link gets taken down, the Victor crew gives you this screen shot:

Open and Close a Window

Have a Blessed Christmas!
The Victor crew

Sticky Notes

Ever wish you could put sticky notes all over your monitor to remember things? Windows 10 has sticky notes you may or may not know about. You can find them by going to All Apps > Windows Accessories > Sticky Notes or just search for it.

Here are some screen shots to help.

This is how you find it:
Find Sticky Notes

This is how to make a new note from existing one by clicking the + button:
New Sticky Note

By right clicking you can change the color of the sticky note:
Change Sticky Note Color

Just delete the note by clicking the small x on the note.

Sticky notes have actually been around since Windows Vista but few people know or use them it seems. Unfortunately they are just as useful as a real sticky note as they don’t “do” anything but sit there to remind you of something. No little alarm goes off when the time on the note comes.

Universal Remote

Sometimes when you watch TV, you lose your remote. Or your working on your laptop and with you had a mouse. Well, Unified Remote has ways to turn your smart phone into a universal remote for your TV, set-top box, music player, or computer.

They have a free version with limited functionality or pay a one-time fee of $3.99 for the full version. The free version has 18 free remotes, can connect with WiFi or Bluetooth, has password protection and encryption, allows you to control your computer keyboard and mouse, works with 3rd party keyboards. You can place shortcuts of your favorite remotes on your Android homescreen.

The Pro version has all the above and also has over 40 premium remotes and allows you to be able to use custom remotes, you can view your computer screen on yur device (Windows, Mac, Android – with iOS coming soon), and has an extended keyboard with cmd, ctrl, alt, etc. for Android, you can create customizable widgets, pin quick actions to notification area, use Google voice control, generate tags, URIs, or QR images for your favorite actions, Send IR commands to TV sets, Works on Android smartwatch. In iOS you can pin your remotes to the notification center.

All of this sounds intriguing. Although the Victor crew hasn’t tried this yet, we will and will report back what we find.

Yes I do, oh no you don’t

It seems like Samsung and Microsoft Windows is playing tug of war these days. A while back it was discovered that Samsung was disabling Windows Update when it did an update. With a Samsung SW Update, it included Disable_Windowsupdate.exe. A user found that they were being asked if they wanted to turn on Windows Update when they booted as it was randomly being reset.

To bypass this, you would need to uninstall SW Update Service from your machine. So why does Samsung do this? It’s to prevent Microsoft from using their drivers instead of Samsung’s which could break the use of hardware.

We’re not sure yet what happens on these devices with Windows 10, since Windows 10 forces updates.

Jody’s crew

Windows 10 Upgrade Free?!

You betcha! According to the Microsoft Windows Blog, Windows 10 will launch this summer in 190 countries and in 111 languages. If you are currently running Windows 7 or newer, you will be able to upgrade to Windows 10 for free. Once upgraded they will keep Windows 10 current for the lifetime of the device. An older post told about the possibility of Windows 10 being free. It has since been confirmed by Microsoft.

Windows Hello
In an attempt to make Windows 10 more personal, Microsoft is introducing Windows Hello. So what is it? It’s biometric authentication. This will provide you with instant access to all your Windows 10 devices. Show your face or touch your finger to devices running Windows 10 and you will be instantly recognized. They say this is more secure than a password. If you currently have a device that has a fingerprint reader, you should be able to use Windows Hello to unlock the device. For facial or iris detection, it will be able to tell if it’s really you or a picture of you through infrared technology.

Jody Victor

Patch Tuesday

Most people know by now that the second Tuesday of the month is known as Patch Tuesday for users of Microsoft Windows. Maybe you didn’t know this and just thought the updates and patches just came whenever. Maybe you don’t fire your laptop every day or just don’t pay attention to the timing.

It is important to put these updates and patches in as soon as possible or you could be a victim of “Exploit Wednesday.” The patches are analyzed by hackers to see what vulnerabilities are being patched and have that open window of time to exploit the vulnerability.

If you haven’t installed any updates in a while, go to Windows Update and it will check for updates. If there are updates, install them. Then check for updates again. There are some that have to be installed before others so there may still be some updates you missed. This will be especially true tomorrow for users of Windows 8.1. You need to have installed the April patches to get all the updates for May.

So the next time your system reminds you that you have updates to install, don’t delay – do them as soon as you can!

Jody Victor

Need a new phone?

Can’t decide what you want? Well, Jody‘s crew found that there’s a phone coming out that will run both Windows and Android. Karbonn Mobile is looking to develop a dual boot Android-Windows phone! It is set to release in June.

Apple is working on a new integrated iPhone voice-control system. It will allow drivers to control their iPhones via touch and voice. It will allow a driver to access their contacts, phone calls, listen to voicemails all with both hands on the wheel. CarPlay will debut in Farrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo vehicles at the Geneva Motor Show this week. CarPlay will also be available in cars from BMW, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Subaru, Suzuki, and Toyota Motor Corp. Maybe a reason to choose iPhone?

~ Jody Victor

Hey Jody, What were the top tech stories for 2012?

Jody Victor® found out what CNN Tech picked for the top tech stories of 2012:

  1. Microsoft Windows 8 – a complete overhaul of how Windows works.
  2. SOPA backlash – (Stop Online Privacy Act) bills that would have restricted access to sites with pirated content and anyone associated with them including search engines, ads etc.
  3. Live-tweeting war – Israeli military tweeted updates in a conflict with Palestinian forces in Gaza.
  4. iPhone 5 and the Apple Maps debaucle – Apple developed their own map app while dropping the Google Maps app.
  5. Apple vs. Samsung – Apple accused Samsung of infringing on their patents which ended in a trial. The jury decided in Apple’s favor.
  6. Facebook’s IPO – The most anticipated IPO fell flat when it’s initial price was $38 (too high). The stock hit a low of $17.55 September 4.
  7. Instagram – Started out as an app, but when usage skyrocketed, Facebook bought it for $1 billion in cash and shares (later dropping to $735 million as Facebook shares dropped.
  8. Megaupload and Kim Dotcom – Kim Dotcom founder of Megaupload, a file-sharing company, had his various sites shut down by the F.B.I. for piracy.
  9. Mid-sized tables become popular – Apple’s iPad Mini, and similar-sized devices from Google and Amazon.
  10. Nintendo offers Wii U – Wii U has a touchscreen tablet controller called a GamePad that communicates with the main console.
  11. Yahoo hires Marissa Mayer – The day she was hired, she announced her pregnancy. Stock has risen $4 a share since her hiring was announced.
  12. Tech and the presidential election – President Obama used Google Plus and Reddit to respond with voters.

Thanks for finding this, Jody.