Notifications: The Only Reason Why I Love Windows 8’s Modern UI

When Microsoft released Windows 8 last year, I blogged about it and expressed my dislike for the Windows 8 Metro UI and apps. Of course, I love Windows 8 and love its Modern UI.


But what I don’t like about Windows 8 is its Start Screen which gives the feeling of running two PCs in one. It’s like we’re using a PC and Tablet at the same time. There are decent number of Windows 8 apps out there but I was not using any. Why? Because the Windows 8 app ecosystem is a light year away from iOS or Android.

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Why Windows 8 ‘Metro’ Is Awesome But Doesn’t Make Any Sense to Me (& Possibly You)

Windows 8

Microsoft released Windows 8 last month and it was the first time I bought something on its launch day. I got my copy of Windows 8 as I bought the laptop on the same day. It was the second most awaited Windows OS for me, the first being Windows XP.

When Windows XP was launched everyone loved to hate it. People tried to convince me to uninstall the Windows XP which was preloaded with my COMPAQ and switch to Windows 98. And then when Windows Vista launched they wanted me to switch to Windows XP.

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The Google Alternatives: How To Break Free From Google’s Prison

Break Free

If you have already read the past few blog posts then you might have noticed that it’s all about Microsoft – Microsoft Office Outlook 2013, Hotmail, Gmail, etc. As I wrote earlier our digital life is usually about – Mail, Planner, Cloud, Contacts, Calendar, Notes, and Reminder. And then I listed the Top 25 iPhone Apps that help me to organize my digital life too.

Change, Welcome.

When I was done, Microsoft launched the next version of their flagship operating system – Windows 8. Again, it changed my digital life. By now you probably know I’m one of those Microsoft fanboy who is was obsessed with Google products and services.

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How To Use Google Reader From Within Microsoft Outlook 2013

Google Reader in Outlook

Google Reader is perhaps the best RSS feed reader out there that consolidates all of our RSS subscriptions. Microsoft Outlook comes with an inbuilt RSS Reader that downloads all your feed items to Outlook so that you can read your feeds offline since the data is now stored in your local disk.

Now, if you still want to rely on Google Reader (like me) then you can access your Google Reader feeds right from your Outlook. All you need to do is right-click the “RSS Feeds” folder in Outlook and click “Properties”.

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How To Link & Connect Outlook 2013 To Facebook, LinkedIn & More

Did you know, Outlook can now connect to social networks Facebook and LinkedIn like we do on Once you link your Facebook and LinkedIn account to Outlook it will then show your contacts’ social media updates within Outlook.

Read: 13 Hotmail (Now Tips & Tricks You Probably Don’t Know

Outlook 2013's Facebook & LinkedIn Integration

What is Outlook Social Connector?

Outlook Social Connector lets you see profiles and updates and add new connections without leaving Office. Click on a contact’s name to see email and attachments he or she has sent you, meetings you have attended together, and their activities in social networks. You can also send this contact a request to become your connection in popular social networks.

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How To Sync iCloud, iPhone, iPad & iOS Devices With Microsoft Outlook 2013

Sync iCloud with Outlook

Apple iCloud is an excellent service to manage our Contacts, Calendar, Notes, and Reminders as it syncs with all Apple devices and some third-party services. I guess you already know how to synchronize your Hotmail account with Outlook.

Now if you want to sync your iCloud data with your Windows PC then Microsoft Office Outlook is perhaps the best way as Apple comes with an iCloud Control Panel for Windows that can sync your Internet Explorer Bookmarks (requires IE 8 or later) with iCloud and your iOS Mail, Contacts, Calendars, Notes and Tasks with Outlook (requires Microsoft Outlook 2007, 2010 or later).

If you haven’t already setup iCloud on your Windows PC then you need to set up iCloud on all your devices and then download the iCloud Control Panel for Windows (requires Microsoft Windows Windows Vista SP2, Windows 7, or Windows 8).

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How To Sync Microsoft Office Outlook 2013 With Gmail (Google Mail)

Sync Gmail with Outlook

It appears like Windows 8 and the new Outlook 2013 is going to reorganize my (and probably your) digital life by making “online things” easier. I’m one of those power Gmail users, but that said, I was planning to switch to ever since they launched the service. I struggled a lot to find a reason to switch to from Gmail as I love everything about Microsoft. But since no other web mail service currently matches the features of Gmail I was forced to stick with Gmail itself.

Read: How To Sync Microsoft Hotmail With Office Outlook 2013

But the past several weeks, I spent numerous hours configuring things here and there to find a perfect alternative to Google services – Google Calendar, Gmail, Google Docs, Google Drive, Google Reader, Google Tasks and more – which I currently use. My digital life is was all about Gmail. It’s actually Gmail and not the Google search which glues me to most Google products as they’re all tightly integrated.

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How To Sync Windows Live Hotmail With Microsoft Outlook 2013

Microsoft Outlook

I’m not one of those Outlook fans but I know that most people, especially those from the corporate world, love Outlook  as it can manage our Contacts, Mails, Calendar, Notes, Tasks all in one place. Since I was a power Gmail user I never had to depend upon Outlook. But yesterday I gave a try to the new Microsoft Office Outlook 2013 Preview. It looks just fantastic and is no longer the Outlook which I knew for a long time.

Well, now I feel that I realized the true power of Outlook lately. It can really do much more than what I have imagined. How? I’ll be showing you that in the upcoming posts as I’m still in process of consolidating my online stuff.

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