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  1. #1
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    Online shopping at the Microsoft Store




    INSIDER TRICKS

    Online shopping at the Microsoft Store

    By Michael Lasky

    Windows 8 is a game-changer in ways beyond its much-loved/-loathed tile-based interface. As they already do with their smartphones, Win8 users will acquire many of their next applications from the Windows Store.

    The full text of this column is posted at WindowsSecrets.com/insider-tricks/online-shopping-at-the-microsoft-store/ (paid content, opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.

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    Microsoft has conveniently included an HTML version of the Windows Store landing page, so you can look for apps in your Web browser.
    Where?


    One thing to remember: Once you uninstall (delete) an item downloaded from the Windows Store, it’s deleted from your system permanently.
    Wrong!


    Bruce

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    My view is that Windows8 must be smothered in its crib. I intend to use Windows7 as long as possible, and hope that by then Win8 is just a bitter memory of another Microsoft failure. (The views of those Metro thingys is really depressing, BTW.) I will never touch my PC screen, and will never finger swipe anything.

    But for those poor misguided souls who decide to actually try Windows8, is there any way to use an app on it, that does NOT come from the hideous Windows Store? One that you've just downloaded from the open internet as usual? Or has Microsoft at long last given us a closed operating system, that will only use their miserable stuff?

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    WS Lounge VIP access-mdb's Avatar
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    Well, from this poor misguided soul, I too will never touch my PC screen (well unless I'm pointing out something to someone) or finger swipe anything. But then you don't need to in Win 8.

    And as far as apps are concerned, all my apps I ran on Win 7, I'm running on Win 8, so the answer to your first question is yes. And as far as the closed OS question - well, most of the apps on it are not written by MS, so it's not closed. However, if you say that most apps are trivial then that's true (as far as I can see). But then there are some good ones - Fotor for instance.

    You are entitled to dislike Win 8. Personally, I don't think that you should use sweeping generalisations, most of which aren't true, to back your arguments up.

    But then this is all just my opinion.

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    David77 (2013-05-16)

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    Thank you for the information about apps. And perhaps, based on the concerns I expressed, my generalizations should properly be called "swiping" rather than "sweeping."

    One problem in this regard, is that most of what is written about Windows8 stresses the features of.....well......Windows8. That is, the touch screen friendliness, and how it's just not made to use a mouse efficiently. The apps from Windows store are described in detail, without a word about whether other apps are usuable on the system at all, and what difficulties you might encounter in that regard. Apparently you have no Start Button or Start Menu, and you can't boot directly to a traditional mouse friendly desktop. Others counter that you CAN indeed get to a traditional desktop, but never say what's actually required to do that. And what actual non-touch-screen functionality you have when you get there. And can you avoid that awful Metro interface and the cutesy bright colored rectangles entirely? Obvious questions from anyone contemplating a new purchase with Windows8. But the obvious answers about how one can avoid the look and feel of Windows8 is never discussed.

    For those of us who will never use Windows8 as intended, we need to know whether and to what extent the look and feel of Windows8 can be entirely subverted in favor of the Windows7 look. I'll bet that whatever way Windows8 might be cobbled together into an acceptable form, the beautiful Aero aesthetic of Windows7 is gone forever. Shame!

    There seems to be no doubt that Microsoft structured Windows8 in an effort to force their customers away from the traditional PC, for which it is clearly unsuited. "They will buy what we give them" is a business strategy that was tried before. The American auto industry in the 1970's! And didn't that work out well?
    Last edited by David77; 2013-05-16 at 13:08.

  7. #6
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    A little clarification. All the applications that run on Windows Desktop are bought and installed in the same way they were in previous Windows versions. New apps that use the Modern (Metro) user interface can only be bought and installed via the Microsoft store.

    Jerry

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    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Windows 8 Handbook App -- long overdue! I like this one. It's easy to use and gets directly to the point for many of the issues about Win 8 usability which have vexed me from the beginning.

    I also like the NBC News App, since I can stream recent Nightly News content without having to leave my PC. Other networks, including PBS, have Apps like this one.

    Here's where the HTML version of the Windows 8 App Store is. But as soon as you tap or click on the Open the Store button on the HTML page, it flips you over to the Metro version of the Windows 8 App Store. This is really NOT an HTML version of the App Store. And you only get to see the Top Ten or so Apps in each category before you are flipped into Metro-Land. This "HTML version" only works from the Windows 8 Desktop. It is however, pretty much browser-agnnostic. I previewed it from Chrome on the Win 8 Pro Desktop.

    When a Win 8 (Metro) App is uninstalled, it takes its entire user data folder and most other traces with it. This is what I think was meant by "gone forever" in the article. The article should, IMHO, have read "gone completely", which is also not entirely true. But it's closer to reality than in previous versions of Windows. CCleaner can usually handle many leftover Win 8 App remnants in the Win 8 Pro version. Also, there's under the Gear Charm, Tiles keyword, a button to Clear Personal Information From My Tiles. I use that button to clean up the Metro Apps all the time. Again, not absolutely complete cleanup, but pretty good.

    Many threads in The Lounge have gone over in great detail, third-party utilities which can make the Windows 8 Pro experience nearly the same as the Windows 7 Pro experience. Some things still will be different, but the Start Button, Start Menu and launching directly into then Desktop are all supported by third-party utilities like Classic Shell (from Sourceforge). This will probably remain possible after Windows 8.1 ("Blue") is released later this year.
    Last edited by bobprimak; 2013-05-16 at 16:48.
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  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobprimak View Post
    Here's where the HTML version of the Windows 8 App Store is. But as soon as you tap or click on the Open the Store button on the HTML page, it flips you over to the Metro version of the Windows 8 App Store. This is really NOT an HTML version of the App Store. And you only get to see the Top Ten or so Apps in each category before you are flipped into Metro-Land.
    Yep; SIX news or weather apps, not the 6,000+ in the Store. Hardly "... so you can look for apps in your Web browser."


    Quote Originally Posted by bobprimak View Post
    This "HTML version" only works from the Windows 8 Desktop. It is however, pretty much browser-agnnostic. I previewed it from Chrome on the Win 8 Pro Desktop.
    Works fine from Metro IE10 too. Aren't most HTML pages browser-agnostic?


    Quote Originally Posted by bobprimak View Post
    When a Win 8 (Metro) App is uninstalled, it takes its entire user data folder and most other traces with it. This is what I think was meant by "gone forever" in the article. The article should, IMHO, have read "gone completely", which is also not entirely true. But it's closer to reality than in previous versions of Windows. CCleaner can usually handle many leftover Win 8 App remnants in the Win 8 Pro version.
    But any app you uninstall remains at Store, Your Apps, Apps not installed on this PC. And I'm not yet aware of any way to remove it from there.

    So it's actually much easier to change your mind and re-install an app, not more difficult than for a desktop application as the article hinted.

    Does the article's author really believe that you can retrieve an uninstalled desktop program from the recycle bin?


    Quote Originally Posted by bobprimak View Post
    Also, there's under the Gear Charm, Tiles keyword, a button to Clear Personal Information From My Tiles. I use that button to clean up the Metro Apps all the time. Again, not absolutely complete cleanup, but pretty good.
    Strange that Microsoft refers to all tile updates as "personal" information. Hardly any of my tiles display anything I would call personal.


    Bruce
    Last edited by BruceR; 2013-05-16 at 19:45.

  10. #9
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Good to know IE 10 still runs HTML properly. So much else doesn't work right in the Metro version of IE 10.

    I was unaware that a record of your downloaded Apps remains at the MS Store, but this doesn't surprise me. Apple does the same for iPad Apps. The Android Marketplace doesn't do this, so Android tablet vendors have begun to provide their own "cloud backups" of important user data in case of a Reset or other major event.

    When I clear the personal info from my tiles, the apps remain updated. Only the recent activity (which includes some of my personal data) gets cleaned up, and the "live tiles" go dead.

    Apps like Evernote or Outlook.com [Edited 5/20/2013 to show the online version] do locally retain personal data, which can be cleared with the Metro button.

    All told, I prefer the old-fashioned locally installed Windows x86 programs. CCleaner does a good job of cleaning up after these apps, and most desktop browsers can be thoroughly cleaned with plugins designed for this purpose. Even Flash Cookies can be cleaned with the same cleanup utilities. Metro seems to me to be much messier.
    Last edited by bobprimak; 2013-05-20 at 11:13.
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