WINDOWS OR MAC?

A preview of the new Windows 9 operating system will be shown all over the known universe this Fall. The scuttlebutt is it will correct the mess known as Windows 8; computer users will no longer be forced to look at a screen meant for tablet users. (Yep, that’s what it was designed for.)

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XP EXPIRATION DATE

We’re still getting letters from readers about Microsoft dropping support for Windows XP. As we’ve said, Bob’s computer is Win XP and he isn’t worried. With a good anti-virus and anti-spyware program, you’re fine. Around 95% of all automatic teller machines and 25 percent of all computers still use Windows XP, so this operating system is not going away for a long time.

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XP AND BEYOND

We heard from several readers who said they have no intention of giving up their Windows XP machines when Microsoft support ends (neither does Bob), and others who asked, “What about Vista?”

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WINDOWS XP DEADLINE COMIN UP

Uh, oh. On April 8th, Bob and other XP users will have a decision to make – or not. That’s the day when Microsoft will stop supporting Windows XP. Is this the end of civilization as we know it?

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SPEEDING UP THE MAC

We often hear from readers with slow Windows computers. But what about Mac owners? Their machines can get slow too. Let’s hear it for slow Macs!

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NICE PICTURES AND A BIT MORE

Here’s a trick many people don’t seem to know about: You can have a new beautiful picture on your computer every day, and it’s free for Windows users.

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GETTING A NEW WINDOWS 8 COMPUTER

Just when we thought we’d heard every complaint about Windows 8 computers, we heard a new one. A friend wondered where in the world she should save her files, because now she sees two choices: “Skydrive,” and “This PC.”

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WINDOWS 8 WARNING

A reader was frustrated when Windows 8.1 didn’t work well with his Fujitsu scanner, and was tempted to revert to Windows 8.0. Warning: You can go back by using the Windows “Recovery Manager,” but you’ll have to re-install any programs you put on your machine. Our reader elected to download a new driver for the scanner instead.

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WINDOWS 8.1 HAS MANY THINGS TO LIKE

The reviews covering the new Windows 8.1 missed the thing we like best about it: the return of the “all programs” list. But there are lots more goodies than that in the new upgrade.

You need to have Windows 8 to get the 8.1 upgrade, and you do have to go get it — it’s not automatic. To get it, tap the Windows key (looks like a flag) and type “Store.” Then click on the free download link. If you get an error message like we did, try again. It took us several tries, perhaps because the servers were busy.

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GIVING UP ON WINDOWS

A friend of ours, a lifelong Windows user, switched to the Mac after a bad experience with Windows 8. This causes us to rethink our latest Windows recommendations.

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