Weekly Geek Critique Vol.40

Windows 8.1 to get the Start button back

The rumours that the  iconic Window Start button may make a comeback in the new update for  Windows 8 have finally been confirmed. Screenshots of the new update  were leaked this week proving the Start button is now in the original location, on the Start menu bar in desktop mode.

Also confirmed are a couple of  interesting enhancements such as booting directly into desktop mode allowing users to choose if they want to start their computers straight into the Start screen or the desktop mode. This is switched off by default, but will be easy for the user to change. Worth mentioning is the ability to  add your desktop wallpaper onto the background of the Start screen.

The absence of the button has  caused quite a stir with the Windows community over the past year, so with the new update Microsoft will have hopefully moved their newest OS into the right direction.

New UI for Gmail

In an attempt to reduce the enormity of an  over cluttered inbox , Google have just realised a shiny new user-friendly  Gmail for Desktop, Android, iPhone and iPad. In what they call a “clean, streamlined look” the  new interface uses tabs to reduce the on-screen content, making for a much leaner  web design . It’s not all about the looks though, as Gmail has received some  additional functionality, most notably, the ability to automatically file emails on your behalf. Gmail offers five different email groups;  Primary, Social, Promotions, Updates and  Forums (see image below) in which the inbox will automatically file emails from Twitter into Social, Groupon to Promotions and so on. It seems like a  sensible way to filter emails but only time will tells so let’s hope the roll out reaches us soon.

Acer launch with Android

It looks like Acer are emerging as a  technology trendsetter by choosing  Android software instead of Windows to launch its latest all-in-one computer. Typically,  Windows and PC have been synonymous but as relationships between Android and Intel’s Haswell and Bay Trail chips strengthen, the trend will inevitably continue. For our money, it looks the business:

BT ditch Yahoo email

They’ve spent over a  decade together , but BT and  Yahoo will be parting ways after Yahoo’s email service  fails to resolve security issues BT customers have been campaigning for change since February after a high volume of compromised accounts in which email accounts had been hacked and then used to send out spam emails. In an announcement yesterday, Nick Wong (Director of Online for BT’s Consumer Division) said that they will be “switching customers’ email over to  BT Mail , which will include the features and functions they expect from a modern email service including feature in-built anti-virus and anti-spam solutions.”

We hope you enjoyed a shorter than normal week, have a lovely weekend and see you again soon.