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Windows 8.1 New Features

Windows 8.1 New Features
With one search command, I can access files stored on my computer along with web content on the internet. Type in "Shakira," for instance, and I'm invited to hear her songs through Xbox Music or watch her videos on YouTube. I also get links to her biography, official website and Wikipedia entry. Type in "Toronto" and a map, suggested attractions and the current weather there will pop up. In both cases, I am also shown documents on my computer with those words in the text.

I can diagnose my medical condition by tapping on a body part on the screen and checking off symptoms. I can also keep track of my workouts, recipes and shopping lists. Another feature lets me save content from webpages and apps to read later offline.

I can rearrange tiles and rename groups of apps more easily. With one swipe up from the home screen, I can see all my apps and arrange them by name, category, installation date or frequency of use.

I can set the computer to always boot up in the desktop mode, allowing me to minimize my interaction with the tile-based interface. That said, this seems like cheating, an admission that the tile mode isn't working, when Microsoft is banking its future on it.

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