Microsoft has removed the Facebook and Flickr integration from the Photo app in Windows 8.1 along with support for photos on network storage.  One of the key features in Windows Phone has been the tight social integration with the ability to pull photos from many services within the photo app. It seems Microsoft is moving in the other direction with Windows 8.1. A spokesperson for Microsoft, speaking in the Microsoft community forums said: In Windows 8, we wanted to provide a way for folks to view their photos on other services knowing there would be few (if any) apps in the store at launch that would do so.  Now there are many apps in the store that offer ways to view photos on other services and soon there will even be a Facebook app from Facebook.  We’re confident Facebook will offer great ways to view and engage socially with photos ...

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The Xbox Music App has been redesigned in Windows 8.1.  The main focus of the app in Windows 8.0 was discoverability, the focus has now been shifted to playing music quickly from your own collection.  The new new Xbox Music app will feature a navigation column on the left side significant performance enhancements.  Other features include: Built-in Search: You’ll have faster access to your favorite songs, artists and albums with an in-app “Search” bar. Improved Collection Management: Simple access to your music starts in the “Collection,” where the music that you’ve saved in the Xbox Music cloud and your local music and will be at the forefront of the app. Streaming Radio Stations: “Radio” will offer seamless creation of new streaming Internet-radio stations based on artists you like and will give you faster access to your favorite Radio stations that you’ve already created. Exploring the Music Store: “Explore” will take ...

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OpenTable is the only app that helps you book a table at more than 20,000 restaurants in the US, Canada and Mexico. Plus, members can earn dining points to pay for meals at any OpenTable restaurant. Features include: See available restaurants in real-time, in a list and on a map Narrow your search by cuisine, price, or neighborhood Browse menus and reviews Make out-of-town reservations when you travel Download: Windows Store ...

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During the Build conference today, Rhapsody released its Windows 8 App. Features include: Dive into a catalog of millions of songs Play full-length albums and top tracks Create playlists for any occasion Save all your favorites to your library to play whenever, wherever Discover new music with Rhapsody radio – listen by Artist or Genre Hear it first with New Releases every Tuesday Enjoy rich-album imagery and intuitive navigation throughout the app Special Windows 8 features include Snap Mode for simple multitasking and an option that allows tracks to be pinned to the Metro-style home screen. Download: Windows Store ...

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The Bing Health & Fitness app is a personal companion for everyday living. The app around the philosophy that “by bringing together nutrition, fitness and medical information customized to your own personal needs, you can learn about your own health, what works for you and make smart decisions to lead a healthy life. Combining these things in one comprehensive app allows you to quickly learn about what’s happening with your body and discover ways to maintain or change your lifestyle with helpful and easy to understand content.” Trackers The Health & Fitness app contains three Trackers; Diet Tracker, Health Tracker and Exercise Tracker. The Trackers are an easy and powerful way to gather information about your own body to make better decisions for you. They also all sync with Microsoft’s HealthVault to securely bring in data from personal medical records and third party tracking tools such as blood glucose monitors, electronic ...

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The Verge is reporting that Skype will indeed be built into the final version of Windows 8.1.  This was expected as the messaging app had been neglected since its release in 8.0, and it was not included in the Windows 8.1 preview.  Skype support will be built into the lock screen, as was demoed in the keynote yesterday, and you will be able to receive voice and video calls without logging in. Microsoft bought Skype for $8.5 billion over two years ago.  Back in April Microsoft forced Live Messenger users  to start to migrate over to Skype. Source: The Verge ...

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The new Food & Drink Bing app offers access to a variety of recipes from culinary publishers like AllRecipes, popular cookbooks and food bloggers like Food 52, as well as recipes and tips from top chefs like Wolfgang Puck and Tom Colicchio.  More sources will be added over time. The app also offers a wine encyclopedia with information on over 1.5 million bottles of wine, 3.3 million tasting notes and hundreds of popular cocktail recipes. Hands Free Swiping When you’re cooking, inevitably your hands will get messy, touching your tablet is probably not the best idea.  The Food & Drink App has a Hands-Free Cooking Mode, which allows you to follow recipes step by step from your device by waving your hand across the camera. Comprehensive Recipe and Wine List With Food & Drink you can browse recipes by cuisine, level of difficulty, preferred cooking method or by specific ingredients. You can ...

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In the new Windows Store bring a number of changes in Windows 8.1.   Automatic Updates Windows Store apps will now be automatically updated in the background.  Users have the option of turning off automatic updates, especially useful to those in areas with limited bandwidth. Redesign The focus of the Windows Store redesign is on recommendations.  When you open the Windows Store you will see an editorial sections of the top new apps, idf you scroll to the right you will see “pick for you.”  The store also features a list of recently launched apps and apps that are currently popular with other users.  The list of top free and paid apps are still there too., Bing powers the recommendation engine and will provide you with a personalized list of apps based on a number of factors. App listings are much more descriptive now, you can see screenshots, ratings, top ...

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Microsoft will officially release Windows 8.1 preview later today at the BUILD conference in San Francisco.  Below is a link that will allow you to download the ISO for the Windows 8.1 Preview.  Alternatively, you update Windows 8 through the Windows Store.  The link is not live yet, but will be later today. Download Windows 8.1: http://prev.windows.microsoft.com/en-001/windows-8/preview-download Source: Neowin via Faikee ...

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You may recall there was a version Zune Pass on the web and now Microsoft is finally bring Xbox Music to the web too. Sources familiar with Microsoft’s Xbox Music plans have revealed to The Verge that the web-based version will launch next week at music.xbox.com. Microsoft has already started updating its Xbox Music pages in preparation, noting on some, that it’s “now available on the web.” Xbox Music on the web will work in a similar way to Spotify’s own web version, letting you stream music through the browser and manage playlists. While it won’t launch until next week, it’s possible that Microsoft may highlight the upcoming release during its Build developer conference that starts on June 26th. Microsoft has re-wrote the Xbox Music app for Windows 8.1. Windows 8.1 will be released June 26th at the BUILD conference in San Francisco. Source: The Verge ...

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Microsoft released Windows Server (“Blue”) preview to MSDN subscribers late yesterday, ahead of the BUILD (#bldwin) conference later this week in San Francisco. The build provides us a number of clues as to what we will see in the official Windows 8.1 (Blue) preview. The server build number is 9341, the windows 8.1 preview build will be: 6.3.9431.winmain_bluemp.130615-1214. Shutdown from “power menu” by right clicking on Start Button or hitting win key + X   Start Button in Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview, should look virtually the same in the Windows 8.1 Preview Start Button options including disabling ‘hot corners,’ and booting to desktop Source: Microsoft-News Image Credits: Robert McLaws ...

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Microsoft released Windows Server (“Blue”) to MSDN subscribers late yesterday, ahead of the BUILD (#bldwin) conference later this week in San Francisco. The build provides us a number of clues as to what we will see in the official Windows 8.1 (Blue) preview. The server build number is 9341, the windows 8.1 preview build will be: 6.3.9431.winmain_bluemp.130615-1214. Back in Windows Vista Microsoft renamed “My Computer” to “Computer.”  Now Microsoft is renaming “Computer” to “This PC.”  Libraries are now hidden by default and more integrated into the UI. If you want them displayed as before, right-click in the blank space Source: Microsoft-News Image Credit: Robert McLaws ...

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Microsoft released Windows Server (“Blue”) to MSDN subscribers yesterday, ahead of the BUILD (#bldwin) conference later this week in San Francisco. The build provides us a number of clues as to what we will see in the official Windows 8.1 (Blue) preview. The server build number is 9341, the windows 8.1 preview build will be: 6.3.9431.winmain_bluemp.130615-1214. Right clicking on the start button in Windows 8.1 will now give you the option to shutdown the machine: Source: Robert McLaws Image Credits: Robert McLaws ...

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Microsoft released Windows Server (“Blue”) to MSDN subscribers today, ahead of the BUILD (#bldwin) conference later this week in San Francisco. The build provides us a number of clues as to what we will see in the official Windows 8.1 (Blue) preview. The server build number is 9341, the windows 8.1 preview build will be: 6.3.9431.winmain_bluemp.130615-1214. IE11 scores 351/500 + 2 bonus point, and 25/25 for WebGL. Since this is a server build, the score may be a little higher than IE11 on Win 8.1, but this confirms WebGL for IE11.  IE11 WebGL Conformance Test Results: 14,748 of 20,509 tests pass (71.9%). Many things seen in the Server 2012 R2 preview will also show up in the Windows 8.1 preview. Most of this information comes via Robert McLaws, a MSDN subscriber and .NET developer: IE11 About Dialog Start Menu/Taskbar Options; Includes options to shut down from Start button and disable hot ...

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MyDigitalLife forum member FaiKee has posted a great thread full of lots of Windows 8.1 information.  He detailed some information regarding how the integrated Skydrive will work in Windows 8.1, changes to uninstalling apps, and changes to the Windows Store. SkyDrive does not automatically sync all your SkyDrive files to the PC. Instead it downloads placeholder files for all of your files on SkyDrive. Placeholder files are shown in the app and in the SkyDrive folder in File Explorer. These small files look like the full file, and have thumbnails and metadata, but they take a tiny fraction of the disk space of the full file. When you open a placeholder, the SkyDrive engine downloads the full file in the background. When you open a file this way, SkyDrive also marks the file as Available offline, so that the files you use will be kept in sync on this PC. ...

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