failures. File History, makes backups simpler and easier to perform.

Another noteworthy improvement is Microsoft’s upgraded system refresh capability, which enables you to restore a system to its clean-install or almost-clean-install state if it has been damaged it—and to do so while retaining all of your files and settings.

Touch: Windows 8 offers true multi-touch that works well.  altogether. Touch is an integral part of the experience, not a bolted-on afterthought (You will need a compatible Touch Screen)

A common ecosystem: Having a common app ecosystem that will run on PCs, tablets, and even phones is a good idea. The ability to navigate through a phone or tablet similarly to the way you would through a laptop or desktop PC promises to make your computing life easier.

Reasons NOT to Upgrade to Windows 8

Windows without windows: The Windows 8 Start screen has no windows. At best, you can display two programs side by side, and even doing that is impossible if your screen’s horizontal resolution is less than 1366.

But the lack of actual windows isn’t the worst flaw. You can still organize the Start page by dragging your productivity apps, your

—> Continues   Windows 8 Upgrade?

The media receiver/media extender/set-top box category is a bit slippery since it includes so many divergent products. Some, like the Roku XDS, focus more on streaming Web content from sources like Amazon, Flickr, or Pandora, while others, like the Western Digital TV Live can also store your own audio, video, and photos over a local network. Others, like Apple TV, hook into a large online catalogue of streaming video you can rent. Apple has its own iTunes store, but other boxes use Amazon on Demand, Blockbuster on Demand, Crackle and Vudu. The Boxee Box and the Logitech Revue with Google TV even integrate a browser so you have access to Flash video, search, and, well, pretty much the whole Web.

While they are the focus of this story, it's not just set-top boxes: TV manufacturers are piling on streaming services in HDTVs and Blu-ray players. Currently, all three major game consoles integrate some form of Internet-video streaming. The Nintendo Wii has Netflix, while the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 offer several services along with easy access to your own PC media over your wireless network. Also, Sony is integrating Google TV in some of its HDTVset; other manufacturers are likely to follow suit.

-> Continues   The New Television

media players, and your utilities into separate groups; however, this doesn’t allow you to arrange your programs hierarchically, like folders on a hard drive or submenus on the Start menu. Instead, you must accept an arrangement where everything is displayed up front.

The crippled Windows desktop: Windows 8 retains the old user interface, which is now officially called Desktop, but in a sadly hobbled form. You can’t use Desktop as your default interface. You can’t boot into it or close Windows from it. On the other hand, you can manage files in Desktop. There’s no interface equivalent of Windows Explorer.

Microsoft has removed the Start menu, except for a cut-down version called “simplified start.” Introduced in Windows 95 and improved many times since, the Start menu has evolved into a great convenience.

To make things worse, the two separate interfaces don’t play well together, It should all be configurable, and you should be free to decide what criteria create the change—or you should have the option of sticking with the interface you prefer.

As always it is never a good idea to be an early adopter of a new OS, so I’ll stay with Windows 7 for as long as I can, and wait for other users and Microsoft to find and fix everything in Windows 8 before upgrading.

services. In other words, you can store files, like typed files and snapshots of  from magazines, and then tag each one however you want. Everything you put into Evernote is searchable, even the type on PDFs.

A "note" can be a piece of formatted text, a full webpage or webpage excerpt, a photograph, a voice memo, or a handwritten "ink" note. Notes can also have file attachments. Notes can be sorted into folders, then tagged, annotated, edited, given comments, searched and exported as part of a notebook.

Sharing. You can share individual notes as well as entire notebooks , which makes it really easy for friends and family to access your notes and collections.

Emails. Each Evernote user gets an email address, and anything you send to that address goes directly into your default notebook as a new note. Simply forward your notes to the Evernote address and you can tag, sort, and edit them later.

Bookmarks. One element of Evernote you should really learn Web Clipper, which gives you a two-click solution for moving notes from Web pages into your Evernote account.

The Evernote Web Clipper is a free plug-in you can install on your

EVERNOTE (Featured Application)

Evernote is a free premium note-taking and note-syncing application that you can use on a Windows PC, Mac, tablet, smart-phone, or any device with a Web browser, also offers online synchronization and backup

browser. Once it's in place, just go to the Web page you want—probably from your list of bookmarked pages—and click the Web Clipper icon. You can save the whole page, or just highlighted parts, Evernote will automatically highlight just the title, and content, leaving out advertisements or photos that might take up too much space.

Another organizing solution worth checking is Neat software and hardware that includes a smart scanner.