If you bought a new Windows 8 laptop recently, there’s probably already third party support for DVD playback. However, if you upgraded to Windows 8 on your current laptop or desktop, there’s no way to play your collection of DVDs. That’s because Microsoft removed both the ability to play DVD in Windows Media Player and Windows Media Center from Windows 8.
The only way to get back official DVD playback support from Microsoft is to purchase the Windows Media Center Pack separately for $9.99. Maybe that’s how Microsoft is selling Windows 8 for cheap. Not everyone uses DVD anymore nor do their ultrabooks have a DVD drive.
But luckily you won’t have to pay the $9.99 until after January 31st next year if you need DVD support on your Windows machine. Microsoft has been offering the Windows Media Center Pack for free since they released Windows 8 last October. Head over to their promotion page and register with your email. It will take a couple days for Microsoft to send you a product key and instructions on how to add Windows Media Center Pack to your Windows 8 machine.
Note that this offer is only for the Windows 8 Pro edition.
Link: WMC promotion page
Source: Windows Blog
Sure, the tile interface is pretty great (at least for those of us with a Surface), but did you know you can name your tile groups? It comes naturally that you should group your applications together for quicker access. You will probably put all your games in one group, all your music applications in another, and all your productivity apps in another. Or maybe you prefer to have your Windows 8 style applications in one group, while putting all your desktop applications in a separate one. Whatever the case may be, today’s Quick Tip is about naming those groups. Read on to learn how. Continue reading
Most of us have probably gotten use to Windows 8′s new interfaces — and if we haven’t, we’ve probably downgraded by now. Today’s tip is for the mouse & keyboard users that have stuck around long enough to actually try and make Windows 8 a joy to use. Microsoft has included a somewhat hidden menu in Windows 8, (Okay, maybe not “hidden,” but it is still not very widely known) called the “quick access menu.” It’s accessible by simply hovering your mouse over the start button hot-corner and giving a right click.
The menu provides — as the name implies — quick access to many common system administration features and applications such as Device Manager, Control Panel, and the Command Prompt. Of those listed, I probably use the quick access menu to open up “Run” most frequently, because next easiest way (unless you have a shortcut on the desktop) is to open up the Charms bar and search for it. Also fairly useful is the “System” button, which you previously reached (in Windows 7) by right clicking “My Computer” in the start menu.
Last week we reported that your 32 GB Microsoft Surface will only have 16 GB of usable space due to the operating system files and a recovery partition. Well, Andy Rathbone has found a way to copy the recovery files to an external USB drive and delete the on board recovery partition, giving you about 4 GB of your space back. Read on for a quick step-by-step guide to reclaiming what’s rightfully yours. Continue reading
We all know that Windows 8 has a new interface that can prove to be initially challenging for the average PC user. Well, if you’re one of those people, today’s Quick Tip could prove useful to you. Along with Windows 8′s new features, Microsoft has introduced a variety of Keyboard shortcuts that might be able to help you navigate the interface a little easier. The following image has been circling the internet since the earlier consumer preview versions of Windows 8:
click for full size
Simply line up the keyboard letter along the left side of the image with the modifier along the top. You need to hold the appropriate modifier and then press the letter key. For instance, to open the Charms bar, hold the Windows key and press C. Most of these shortcuts make sense, like the one for the Charms bar being the appropriate letter “C.” Hopefully this will help with the initial memorization, but after you have full mastery of these shortcuts, you should be moving about in Windows 8 with ease.
Another day, another Quick Tip. Today’s tip comes courtesy of Lawrence Abrams over at bleepingcomputer.com.
Most are familiar with pressing the “home” and “lock” buttons at the same time to take a screenshot on iOS devices, and as there is no typical “print screen” key on the touch cover, Microsoft implemented this feature in a very similar way on the Surface.
To take a screenshot, press the Windows button and while holding it down also press the down volume button at the same time. The locations of these are as follows:
In case you can’t find them
After taking the screenshot, it will appear in the Screenshots folder in the Photos app and also in My Pictures/Screenshots. This method of taking screenshots has proven tricky to some users because one button is capacitive and the other is physical. Also, if done slightly incorrectly, the Windows button can perform actions on screen before taking a screenshot. For those experiencing issues, we recommend making sure you are holding the Windows key down instead of simply trying to press both at the same time a la iOS. Make sure to let us know in the comments if you experience any issues!